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URITH 



URITH 



A TALE OF DARTMOOR 



BY 

S. BARING-GOULD 

AUTHOR OK 
"MEHALAH," "JOHN HERRING," "COURT ROYAL,'' FTC., ETC. 



Edition 



NEW YORK 
NATIONAL BOOK COMPANY 

3, 4, 5 AND 6 MISSION PLACE 




Hf 



COPYRIGHT, 1890 

BV 
UNITED STATES BOOK COMPANY 



URITH: 

A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 



CHAPTER I. 

DEVIL TOR. 

In the very heart of Dartmoor, far from human habitation, 
near two thousand feet above the level of the sea, but with 
no prospect in the clearest weather on any side upon cul 
tivated land, stands at present, as stood two hundred years 
ago, and doubtless two thousand before that, a rude granite 
monolith, or upright stone, about fourteen feet high, having 
on it not a trace of sculpture, not the mark of any tool, even 
to the rectification of its rugged angles and rude shapeless- 
ness. 

In every direction, far as the eye can range, extends brown, 
desolate moorland, broken here and there with lumps of 
protruding rock, weathered by storm into the semblance 
of stratification. 

A bow- shot from this upright stone rises such a hump 
that goes by the name of Devil Tor; and the stone in 
question apparently formed originally the topmost slab of 
this granite pile. But when removed, by whom, and with 
what object, remains a mystery. The beauty of a vast up 
land region lies not in its core, but in its circumference, 
where the rivers have sawn for themselves valleys and gor 
ges through which they travel to the lowlands in a series 
of falls, more or less broken. About the fringe, the moun 
tain heights, if not so lofty as in the interior, show their 
elevation to advantage, towering out of the cultivated plains 
or undulating woodland at their bases, 



4 VRITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

In the centre there is less of beauty, because there is no 
contrast, and it is by comparison that we form ourestimutt >. 

In the heart of the upland all is equally barren, and the 
variations of elevation are small. This is especially the 
case with the interior of that vast elevated region of Dart 
moor, which constitutes bog from which flow the river-; 
that pour into the Bristol Channel on one side, and into the 
English Channel on the other. 

The monolith, blackened by lichen, standing in such utter 
solitude, was no doubt thought to bear some resemblance 
to the Great Enemy of Man, and the adjoining Tor was re 
garded as his throne, on which he seated himself but once 
in twelve months, on Midsummer Eve, when the Bale-fires 
flamed on every hill in his honour. On all other occasions 
he was erect in this eyrie region, peering east and west, 
north and south, to see what evil was brewing in the lower 
world of men. 

Devil Tor is reached by very few, only now and then does 
a shepherd pass that way, as the bogs provide no pasturage. 
The peat there has grown from hoar antiquity undisturbed 
by the turf-cutter on account of the remoteness of the spot 
and the difficulty of transport. The fisherman never reaches 
it, for it lies above the sources of all streams. 

The surface of the moor is chapped and transformed by 
the chaps into a labyrinth, of peaty hummocks and black 
and oozy clefts, the latter from six to twelve feet deep, run 
ning in every direction, and radiating out of each other at 
all angles. Why the peat is so cleft is hard to say, there is 
no running water in the gashes, which in many cases go 
down to the white granite like the fissures in the body of 
a leper that in places disclose the bone. It would almost 
seem as though the bitter cold of this region had chapped 
its surface, and that no soft warm weather ever came to 
mollify, and to heal its gaping wounds. 

Evening had closed in, but not attended by darkness, for 
the whole sky was glowing. The moor was on fire. 

The season was that early spring in which what is locally 
termed " swaling " takes place, that is to say, the heather is 
set fire to after the dry winds of March, so as to expose and 
to sweeten the herbage. 

The recent season had been exceptionally dry, ovt-u for 
so rainless a season, and the fires that had been kindled 



UR1TH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 5 

near the circumference of the moor had run inwards, gained 
the mastery, and rioted over the whole expanse beyond 
control. They leaped from bush to brake, they crossed 
streams, throwing over tufts of flaming bracken, pelting the 
further shore, till that also was ignited. 

They circumvented bogs, they scrambled up moraines of 
granite, locally termed clatters, they ran up the hills on one ( 
side, enveloped their rocky crests in lambent flame, and de 
scended the further side in a succession of bounds, and 
now they raged unchecked in the vast untrodden interior, 
where the wiry heather grew to shrubs, and the coarse 
grass and rushes were dust dry. There it ate its way along, 
a red advancing tide, working to windward, with a low roar 
and crackle, snapping at every bush, mumbling the tufts 
of rush, tossing up sparks, flame, and smoke, so that in the 
general glow and haze every landmark was disguised or 
effaced. 

To no distance could the eye reach, because the whole 
atmosphere was impregnated with, smoke, the smoke red 
and throbbing with the reflection of the fires over which it 
rolled. Indeed, the entire firmament was aglow, at one 
time flashing, at another darkening, then blazing out again 
as a solar photosphere, responsive to the progress and force 
of the conflagration. 

Crouched at the foot of the great upright stone, that 
rose over her as the Devil triumphing over his pray, was a 
girl, with sullen, bewildered eyes, watching the fires as they 
folded about her, like flame fingers interlacing to close in 
and squeeze, and press the life out of her. 

Her hands were bandaged. She rested her chin on them. 
She was a handsome girl, but with the features irregular. 
She had large dark eyes possibly at this moment appear 
ing unduly large, as they stared with a vacant unconcern at 
the mingled darkness and flame. Her complexion was by 
nature a transparent sallow, but now it glowed almost 
vermilion in the light of the burning moor. Her brow 
was broad, but low and heavy. The face was strange. 
When the long dark eyelashes fell, then there was in the 
countenance, in repose, a certain pathos, a look of sadness, 
of desolation ; but the moment the eyes opened, this was 
gone, and the eyes proclaimed a sullen spirit within, under 
ground, a smoulder of fierce passion that when stirred 



C UR1TII: A TALE OF DAKTMOOR 

would burst forth into uncontrolled fury akin to madness. 
"When the lids fell, then the face might be pronounced 
beautiful, but when they rose, only the sullen, threatening 
eyes could be seen, the face was forgotten in the mystery 
of the eyes. 

As the girl sat beneath the great black monolith her 
brooding eyes were turned as a brake exploded into brilliant 
flame. She watched it burn out, till it left behind only a 
glow of scarlet ash ; then she slowly turned her head to 
wards Devil Tor, and watched the fantastic shapes the rocks 
assumed in the flicker, and the shadows that ran and leaped 
about them, as imps doing homage to their monarch's chair. 

Then she unwound the bandages about her hands, and 
looked at her knuckles. They were torn, and had bled, 
torn as by some wild beast. The blood was dry, and when 
she wrenched the linen from a wound to which it adhered, 
the blood began again to ooze. Her wounds were inflamed 
through the heat of the fires and the fever in her blood. 
She blew on them, but .her breath was hot. There was no 
water within the engirdling ring of fire in which she could 
dip her hands. Then she waved them before her face, to 
fan them in the wind, but the wind was scorching, and 
charged with hot ash. 

Sitting thus, crouched, waving her bloodstained hands, 
with the bandage held between her teeth, under the black 
upright stone of uncouth shape, she might have been taken for 
a witch provoking the fires to mischief by her incantations. 

Suddenly she heard a voice, dropped the kerchief from 
her mouth, and sprang to her feet, as a shock of fear not 
of hope of escape went through her pulses to her heart. 
Whom was she likely to encounter in such a spot, save him 
after whom the Tor was named, and which was traditionally 
held to be his throne ? 

On the further side of the encompassing fires stood a 
young man, between her and Devil Tor ; but through the 
intervening smoke and fire she could not discern who he 
was, or distinguish whether the figure was familiar or 
strange. 

She drew back against the stone. A moment ago she 
was like a witch conjuring the conflagration, now she 
might have been taken for one at the stake, suffering the 
penalty of her evil deeds. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 7 

" Who are you ? Do you desire to be burnt ? " shouted 
the young man. 

Then, as he received no reply, he called again, " You 
must not remain where you are." 

With a long staft' he smote to right and left among the 
burning bushes, sending up volumes of flying fiery sparks, 
and then he came to her,, leaping over the fire, and avoid 
ing the tongues of flame that shot after him maliciously as 
he passed. 

"What ! " he exclaimed, as he stood before the girl and 
observed her. Against the ink-black, lichened rock, her 
face, strongly illumined, could be clearly seen. " What ! 
Urith Malvine ? " 

She looked steadily at him out of her dark, gloomy 
eyes, and said, "Yes, I am Urith. What brings you here, 
Anthony Cleverdon ? " 

"On my faith, I might return the question," said he, 
laughing shortly. " But this is not the place, nor is this 
the time, for tossing questions like shuttlecocks on Shrove 
Tuesday. However, to satisfy you, I will tell you that I 
came out in search of some ponies of my father's scared 
by the fires and lost. But come, Urith, you cannot escape 
unaided through this hoop of flame, and now that you are 
contented with knowing why I am here, you will let me 
help you away." 

" I did not ask you to help me." 

"No, but I am come, unasked." 

He stooped and caught her up. 

" Put your arms around my neck," said he. " The fire 
will not injure me, as I am in my riding boots, but your 
skirts invite the flame." Then he wrapped together her 
gown about her feet, and holding her on his left arm, with 
the right brandishing his staff, he fought his Avay back. 
The scorching breath rushed about them, ten thousands 
of starry sparks, and whirled round and over them. He 
took a leap, and bounded over and through a sheet of 
flame and landed in safety. He at once strode with his 
burden to the pile of rocks where were no bushes to lead 
on the fire only short swath, and a few green rushes full 
of sap. 

" Look, Urith," said he, after he had recovered breath, 
" between us and the next Tor whose name, by the Lord, 



8 URITII: A TALE OF DAliTMOOR. 

I don't know, but which I take to be the arm-chair of 
Lilith, the Devil's grandara do you see ? the very earth 
is a-fire." 

" How, the earth ? " 

" The peat is so dry that it has ignited, and will smoul 
der down into its depths for weeks, for months, mayhap. 
till a Swithuru month of rains has extinguished it. I have 
known a moor burn like this all through the summer, and 
he that put an unwary foot thei'eon was swallowed like the 
company of Korah in underground fire." 

The girl made no reply. She had not thanked the young 
man for having delivered her from the precarious position 
in which she had been. 

" Where am I ? " she asked, turning her head about 

" On Devil Tor." 

" How far from home ? " 

" What from Willsworthy ? " 

" Yes, from Willsworthy, of course. That is my home." 

" You want to find your way back ? How did you come 
here ? " 

" You ask me two questions. Naturally, I want to get 
to my home. As for how I came here on my feet. I 
went forth alone on the moor." 

" And lost your way ? " 

" Certainly, or I would not be here. I lost my way." 

"You cannot by any possibility return direct over the 
bog and through the fire to Willsworthy. I could not 
guide you there myself. No man, not the best moor-shep 
herd could do this at such a time. But what ails your 
hands? You have hurt yourself." 

" Yes, I have hurt myself." 

" And, again, what induced you to come forth on the 
moor at such a season as this ? " 

The girl made no answer, but suddenly looked down, as 
in confusion. 

She was seated on the rock of the Tor. Anthony Clev- 
erdon stood somewhat below, on the turf, with one hand 
on the stone, looking up into her face, that was in full il 
lumination, and he thought how handsome she was, and 
what a fortunate chance had befallen him to bring him 
that way to rescue her not from death, but from a posi 
tion of distress and considerable danger. Even had she 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 9 

escaped the fire, she would have wandered further into the 
recesses of the waste, becoming more and more entangled 
in its intricacies, without food, and might have sunk ex 
hausted on the charred ground far from human help. 

As Anthony looked into her face and saw the sparks 
travel in her eyes as the reflections changed, he thought of 
what he had said concerning the hidden fire in a moor, and 
it seemed to him that some such fire might burn in the 
girl's heart, of which the scintillations in her eyes were the 
only indication. 

But the young man was not given to much thought and 
consideration, and the notion that started to his mind dis 
appeared from it as suddenly as it flashed out. 

"You cannot remain here, Urith," he said. "I must 
take you with me to Two Bridges, where I have stabled my 
horse." 

"I should prefer to find my way home alone." 

"You are a fool that is not possible." 

She said nothing to his blunt and rude remark, but re 
volved in mind what was to be done. 

The situation was not a pleasant one. She was well 
aware that it would be in vain for her to attempt to dis 
cover the way for herself. On the other hand, she was re 
luctant to commit herself to the guidance of this youth, 
who was no relation, not even a friend, only a distant ac 
quaintance. The way, moreover, by which he would take 
her home must treble the distance to Willsworthy. That 
way would be, except for a short portion of it, over high 
road, and to be seen travelling at night with a young man 
far from her home would be certain to provoke comment, 
as she could not expect to traverse the roads unobserved 
by passengers. Although the journey would be made by 
night, the packmen often travelled at night, and they were 
purveyors, not only of goods, but of news and scandal. 
She could not calculate on reaching home till past mid 
night ; it would be sufficient to render her liable to invid 
ious remark were she to make this journey with such a 
companion alone by day, but to do this at such a time of 
night was certain to involve her in a flood of ill-natured 
and ugly gossip. This thought decided her. 

" No," she said, " I will stay here till daylight." 

" That you shall not." 



10 VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"But if I will?" 

"You will find another will stronger than your own." 

She laughed. "That can hardly be." 

" Why do you refuse ray guidance?" 

" I do not want to go with you ; I prefer to remain here." 

"Why so?" 

She looked down. She could not answer this question. 
He ought not to have asked it. He should have had the 
tact to understand the' difficulty. But he was blunt of 
feeling, and he did not. Without more ado, he caught her 
iii his arms and lifted her off the rock. 

"If I carry you every step of the way," he said, roughly, 
"I will make you come with me." 

She twisted herself in his grip ; she set her hands against 
his shoulders and endeavoured to thrust him from her. 

He threw aside his staff, with an oath, and set his teeth. 
Her hands were unbandaged. She had not been able to 
tie them up again, but she held the kerchiefs that had been 
wrapped round them in her fingers, and now they fell, and 
in her struggles her hands began to bleed, and the ker 
chiefs became entangled about his feet, and nigh on tripped 
him up. 

"You will try your strength against me wild cat?" he 
said. 

She writhed, and caught at his hands, and endeavoured 
to unclinch them. She was angry and alarmed. In her 
alarm and anger she was strong. Moreover, she was a 
well-knit girl, of splendid constitution, and she battled 
lustily for her liberty. Anthony Cleverdon found that he 
had to use his whole strength to hold her. 

"You are a coward?" she cried, in her passion. "To 
wrestle with a girl ! You are a mean coward ! Do you 
mark me ? " she repeated. 

" On my soul, you are strong ! " said he, gasping. 

" I hate you ! " she said, exhausted, and desisting from 
further effort, which was vain. 

"Well!" said he, as he set her down, "which is the 
strongest your will or mine ? " 

"Our wills have not been tested," she answered, "only 
our strength ; your male muscles and nerves are more 
powerful than those of a woman. God made them so, 
alack ! That which I knew before, I know now, that a man 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 11 

is stouter than a woman. Boast of that, if you will but 
as for our wills ! " she shrugged her shoulders, then stooped 
and recovered her kerchiefs, and began impatiently, to 
cover her confusion, to re-adjust them about her hands, 
and to twist them with her teeth. 

"And you will remain unbent, unbroken to continue 
here in the wilderness ? " 

" My will is not to go with you." 

" Then I use the advantage of my superior strength of 
nerve and muscle, and make you come along with me." 

She took a step forward, still biting at the knots, but 
suddenly desisted, turned her head over her shoulder, and 
said, sullenly, "Drive I am your captive." The step she 
had taken was acknowledgment of defeat. 

"Come, Urith," said he, picking up his fallen staff, "it 
was in vain for you to resist me. No one opposes me 
without having in the end to yield. Tell me the truth 
captive captive if you will, tell me what brought you out 
on the moor ? Was it to see the fires ? " 

"No, I ran away." 

" Why did you run away ? " 

She was silent and strode forward, still pulling and biting 
at the knots. 

" Come, answer me, why did you run away ? " 

" I was in a passion, slave-driver ! Why do you say to 
me, 'Come, Urith ?' I do not come, I go driven forward 
by you." 

" In a passion ! What about ? " 

" My mother and Uncle Solomon worried me." 

"What about?" 

"That I will not tell you, though you beat me with your 
long stick." 

" You know well enough, little owl, that I will not strike 
you." 

" I know nothing, save that you are a bully." 

" What ! because I will not leave you on the moor to 
perish? Be reasonable, Urith. I am doing for you the 
best I can. I could not suffer you to remain uncared for 
on this waste. That would indeed be inhuman. Why, at 
sea it is infamy for a sailor to leave a wrecked vessel 
uncared for if he sights it." 

There was reason in what he said. That she admitted 



12 UR1TU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

in her heart. In her heart, also, she was constrained to 
allow that the difficult situation into which she had fallen 
was due to her own conduct. Anthony Cleverdon was 
behaving towards her in the only way in which a generous 
lad could behave towards one found astray in the wilder 
ness. But she was angry with him because he was too dull 
to see that there were difficulties in the way in which he 
proposed to restore her to her home, difficulties which she 
could not, in delicacy, express. 

Anthony did not press her to speak further. He led the 
way now, and she followed ; whereas, at first, she had pre 
ceded, in her angry humour, and to maintain the notion 
that she was being driven against her will. Occasionally 
he turned to see that she had not run away. She was 
chary of speech, out of humour, partly with him chiefly 
with herself. 

The way led from one granite tor to another, through all 
the intricacies of fissured bog, till at length the two travel 
lers readied a sensible depression or slope of the land, and 
now the water, instead of lying stagnant in the clefts, be 
gan to run, and presently in a thousand riils filtered down 
a basin of turf towards a bottom, where they united in a 
river-head. 

The aspect of the country at once changed. It was as 
when a fever-patient passes from incoherent and inarticu 
late mutterings into connected syllables, and then to clearly 
distinct sentences. The wandering veins and seams in the 
bog had found direction and drift for their contents, ac 
quired a cant down which the water ran, and valley, stream, 
and river were the definite result, 

"Now," said Anthony, "our course is clear; we have 
but to follow the water." 

" How far ? " 

" About four miles." 

" And then ? " 

" Then I will get my horse, and we shall have a direct 
course before us." 

" What, the high road to Tavistock ? " 

" No. You shall not go that way." 

" By what way then will you take me ? " 

" By the Lyke-Way." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 13 

CHAPTER n. 

THE LYKE-WAY. 

The whole of Dartmoor Proper is included within the 
bounds of a single parish, the parish of Lydford. The 
moor belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall, and at Lydford 
stood the Ducal Castle. For two hundred years this castle 
has been in ruins, but stands a monument of possession, 
and just as the estate has been eaten into and pillaged 
through a long course of years, so has the castle of the 
Duke been broken into and robbed, to furnish cottages 
with stone, and cowstalls with timber. 

Parishes when first constituted followed the boundaries 
of manors, consequently, as the Duke of Cornwall claimed 
the entire Forest of Dartmoor, that whole forest was in 
cluded within the parish limits. It is the largest parish as 
to acreage in England, and that with the scantiest popula 
tion in proportion to its area. 

In former times the moor attracted miners, it does so still, 
but to a very limited extent ; extensive operations were an 
ciently carried on^in every stream bed in quest of tin. 

The vast masses of upturned refuse testify to the vast- 
ness of the mining works that once made the moors teem 
with people. The workers in the mines lived in huts 
merely constructed of uncemented granite blocks, thatched 
with turf ; the ruins of which may still be inspected. But 
even these ruins are comparatively recent, though dating 
from the Middle Ages, for there were earlier toilers on the 
same ground, and for the same ends, who also lived on the 
moor, and have also left there their traces ; they dwelt in 
circular beehive huts, like those of the Esquimaux, warmed 
by a central fire, and covered in by a conical roof that had 
a smoke-vent in the midst. Tens of thousands of these 
remain, some scattered, most congregated within circular 
enclosures, and hundreds of thousands have been, and are 
being, annually destroyed. In connection with these are 
the megalithic circles and lines of upright stones, cairns 
that contain tombs made of rude stone blocks set on end, 
and covered with slabs equally rude. 



14 URITH: A TALI-: OF DARTMOOR. 

Who were the people that made of Dart moor at a remote 
period a scene of so much activity ? Probably a race that 
occupied Britain before the British, and which was sub 
jugated by the inflowing, conquering Celts. 

Throughout the Middle Ages, down to the Civil Wars, 
the tin was much worked, and men living on the moor also 
died there ; and dying there had to be buried somewhere, 
and that somewhere was properly in the parish church 
yard. 

Now, as there is but a single road across the moor from 
Tavistock to Two Bridges, where it forks, one road going 
to Moreton, the other to Ashburton, and as the main road 
was of no great assistance to such as desired to reach Lyd- 
ford for the sake of their burying their dead, a way was 
made, rudely paved, and indicated where not paved by 
standing stones, for the sole purpose of conveying corpses 
to their final resting place. 

This way, of which at present but faint traces exist, was 
called the Lyke-Way. Since the establishment of the 
prison at Prince's Town, first for French captives in the 
European War, then for Irish and English convicts, a 
church has been erected, and a graveyard enclosed and 
consecrated, for he convenience and accommodation of 
those who live and those who die on^Dartmoor. The 
Lyke- Way has accordingly been abandoned for three-quar 
ters of a century; nevertheless it is still pointed out by the 
moor-men, and is still occasionally taken advantage of by 
them. 

In former days, when for weeks the moor was covered 
with snow, and its road and tracks deep in drifts, corpses 
were deliberately exposed to the frost, or were salted into 
chests, to preserve them till the Lyke-Way was once more 
passable. 

Where the Lyke-Way touches a stream, there double 
stepping-stones were planted in the bed, for the use of the 
bearers, occasionally a rude bridge was constructed, by 
piling up a pier in midwater, and throwing slabs of gran 
ite across, to meet in the midst on this pier ; but these 
were always wide enough to permit of the bearers to cross 
the bridge with the bier between them. 

It is not to be marvelled at that superstition attaches to 
this road, and that at night, especially when the moon is 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 15 

shining, and the clouds are flying before the wind, the 
moor-men aver that there pass trains of phantom mourners 
along this way, bearing a bier, gliding rather than running, 
shadows only, not substantial men of flesh. And as, in 
the old days, the funeral train sang hymns as they went 
along with their load, up hill and down dale, so do the 
moor-men protest at the present time that when the phan 
tom train sweeps along the Lyke-Way, a solemn dirge is 
Avafted on the wind of such overwhelming sadness, that he 
who hears it is forced to cover his face, and burst into 
tears. 

It is said that if one be daring enough to hide behind a rock 
on the side of the corpse-track when the phantom proces 
sion is on the move, so as to suffer it to pass near him, he 
will see his own face upturned to the moon on the bier 
that goes by. Then must he make the best of his time, for 
within a year he will be dead. 

Along the Lyke-Way, as the nearest way to her home, 
and also to his own, in defiance of the superstition that 
clung to it, did Anthony Cleverdon purpose to conduct 
Urith. 

When she heard him suggest this way she shivered, for 
she was, though a strong-minded girl, imbued with the 
belief of the age. But the power to resist was taken from 
her. Moreover, along that way there was less chance than 
on any other of encountering travellers, and Urith shrank 
from being seen. 

On reaching the point where she and her companion 
touched the Lyke-Way, a point recognisable only by An 
thony, who was familiar with it for here it was but a 
track over smooth turf, then Cleverdou bade his companion 
seat herself on a stone and await him. He would, he said, 
go to the tavern and fetch his horse. 

Her opposition to his determination had ceased, not be 
cause her will was conquered, but because she was without 
an alternative course to cling to, without a purpose to op 
pose to his. She was weary and hungry. She had rambled 
for many hours before Cleverdon had discovered her, and 
had eaten nothing. Fatigued and faint, she was glad to 
rest on the stone, and to be left alone, that she might un- 
. observed give way to the tears of annoyance and anger 
that welled up in her heart. 



16 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

In an access of inconsiderate wrath wrath is ever incon 
siderate she had run away from home run from a sick 
mother and she was now reaping the vexations that fol 
lowed on what she had done. Her annoyance was aggra 
vated, not tempered, by the thought that no one was to 
blame for the unpleasant predicament in which she was 
placed but her own self. 

As Urith sat, awaiting the return of Anthony, gazing 
around her, it appeared to her that the scene could hardly 
be more awful at the consummation of all tilings. The 
whole of the world, as far as she could see, was on fire ; it 
looked as if a black crust were formed over an inner glow 
ing core, like the coal-dust clotted in a blacksmith's forge 
above the burning interior. There were wandering sparks 
ranging over it, and here and there a quiver of lurid flame. 
All that was needed to excite to universal conflagration was 
a thrust with an iron rod, a blast of concentrated wind, 
and then the crust would break up, and through its rents 
would flare out rays of fire too dazzling to look upon, that 
would swallow up all darkness and dissolve mountain and 
granite into liquid incandescent lava, and dry up every 
river with a breath. There was water near the rock where 
Urith sat, and 'she again unwound her hands and dipped 
the bandages in the cool stream. 

She was thus engaged, when softly over the velvet turf 
came Anthony, leading his horse. 

"Let me look," said he, bluntly ; "let me tie up your 
rags. How did you injure your knuckles? " 

She obediently held out her hands. 

"I did it myself." 

" How ? Against the rocks ? " 

" No with my teeth." 

" What ! You bit your hands ? " 

" Yes. I bit my handa I was in a rage." 

" We men," said Anthony, " when we are angry, hurt 
each other, but you women, I suppose, hurt your own 
selves ? " 

"Yes. We have not the strength or the means to hurt 
others. Not that we lack the will so we*hurt ourselves. 
I would rather have bitten some one else, but I could not, 
so I tore my own hands with my teeth." 

"You are strange beings, you women," said Anthony. 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 17 

Then he threw the bridle on the ground, and set his foot 
on it, so as to disengage his own hands. 

He took hold of Urith's wrist, and the kerchiefs, one 
after the other, and arranged the bandages, and fastened 
them firmly. Whilst thus engaged, he suddenly looked up, 
and caught her sombre eyes fixed intently on him. 

" Would you hurt me bite and mangle me ? " he asked, 
with a laugh. 

" Yes if you gave me occasion." 

" And if I gave you opportunity ? " 

"Assuredly, if I had the occasion and the opportunity." 

" Which latter I would not be such a fool as to allow 
you." 

" Opportunities come are not made and given." 

" You are a strange girl," he said ; holding her hands 
by the bandaged knots at the wrists, and looking into her 
gloomy eyes ; " I should be sorry to rouse the wild best in 
you there is one curled up in your heart that I can see. 
Your eyes are the entrance to its lair." 

" Yes," answered Urith, without shrinking, "it is true 
there is a wild beast in me." 

" And you obey the wild beast. It stretched itself and 
sniffed the moor air than away you ran out into the wil 
derness." 

He continued to study her face ; that exercised a strange 
fascination upon him. 

" Yes ; I was in one of my fits. I was angry, and when 
I am angry I have no reason no thought no feelings, 
nothing save anger. Just as the moor now is all fire ; 
and the fire consumes everything. I could not hurt my 
mother I did not want to hurt my Uncle Solomon. That 
other He was beyond my reach, and so I bit myself." 

Anthony made an attempt to shake himself free from the 
sensation that stole over his senses, a sensation of giddi 
ness. The effort was ineffectual, it lacked resoluteness, 
and again the spell settled over him ; he was falling into a 
dream, with his hands on her wrists, and her pulses throb 
bing against his fingers, a dream woven about him, en 
lacing, entangling mind and heart and consciousness ; a 
dream in which he was losing all power of seeing anything 
save her eyes, of hearing anything save her breathing, of 
feeling anything save the dull throb of her pulse a dream 



18 URITti: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

in which he was being cnught and bound, and thrown 
powerless at her feet a dream of mingled rapture and 
pain and undefined terror. She had called herself his cap 
tive a little while ago, and now she, without a word or a 
movement, was subjecting him absolutely. 

How long he stood thus fascinated lie could not conject 
ure, he was startled out of it by his horse jerking his 
bridle from under his foot, and then at once, as one start 
ing out of a trance, he passed into a world of other sensa 
tions, he heard the rush of water and the wail of wind, he 
saw the fires about him, and Urith's eyes no longer filled 
the entire horizon. 

"Come," said he, roughly, as he caught the bridle, 
" get on the horse ; we must waste no more time talking 
folly." He put his hands under her foot, and with a leap 
she was in the saddle. 

" You can ride of course," said he, churlishly ; he detested 
the spell that had been thrown over him ; the conviction 
that he had been very nearly falling wholly into her power. 

" Of course I can ride I am a moor-maid." 

With his hand at the bit he urged the horse on, and 
strode forward, looking down at the turf, without speak 
ing. The sudden drunkenness of brain that had come over 
him left its vapours that wei-e not withdrawn wholly and at 
once. But Anthony was not a man to brood over any sen 
sation or experience, and when Urith asked, "Did you find 
your father's colts ? " he recovered his good humour and 
gaiety, and answered in his wonted tone, " No, the fire 
must have driven them further north, maybe they are lost 
in Cranmeer." Then, with a laugh, he added, "I have been 
like Saul seeking my father's beasts, and like Saul, have 
found something better." He looked up at her with a 
flashing eye. 

She turned her head away. 

"You came to the moors alone ? " she asked. 

He did not reply, but pointed to the west. " The wind 
is shifting, I hold. The direction of the smoke and flames 
is changed." 

She did not observe that he evaded giving her a reply to 
her question. 

The way now dipped into a broad valley, where the fire 
had already burnt, and had exhausted itself. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 19 

It lay before them a dark trough, and yet scintillating in 
points where ashes glowed after the flames had exhausted 
themselves. An auroral light pervaded the sky overhead, 
especially bright above the hills to the east, and against it 
the granite piles of rock on the mountain tops, stood forth 
as ruined castles crumbling away in the conflagration, and 
above one huge block, like an altar, smoke rose in columns 
intermingled with flame, as though on it a gigantic sacri 
ficial oblation were being made. 

" I suppose you were angry with me when I snatched 
you off Devil Tor, and you strove to free yourself ? " said 
Anthony. 

"Not angry, but reluctant," she replied; "for I knew 
that }'ou wished me well, and that your violence was kind 
ly meant." 

He drew the reins sharply and arrested the horse, then 
turned, put his arm over the neck, and looked up at Urith. 

" Verily," said he, "I have the fancy that I should like 
to put you into one of your fits as you term them." 

"Indeed," she answered ; "it is a cruel fancy, for my 
fits end in some hurt. When this devil entered into the 
child it cast him into the fire or into the water, and tore 
him before it came out. Ypu see what one fit has cost me " 
she extended her bandaged hands. "But you do not 
feel how they sting and burn. It may have been rare sport 
for such as looked on to see this child half scorched by the 
fire, half smothered by the water, and prostrate, mangled 
by the devil but I question if any one would have had the 
heart to invoke the devil to possess the child ; yet that is 
what you would do." 

" Nay," said Anthony, a little confounded by her vehe 
mence and the charge against him; "nay, I would not 
have you again hurt." 

" Then would you stand to be torn yourself ? " 

" What would you tear and bite me ? " 

" I cannot say. When I have one of my fits on me I do 
not know what I am about." 

"Are you repentant for your action afterwards ? " 

" Assuredly I am repentant when I have gnawed my 
hands, for they are full of pain." 

He turned away. The girl disturbed him. The young 
man was not accustomed to meet with damsels who were 



20 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

not liouey and cream, smiles and allurements the frank 
avowal of savagery in Urith, mingled with the conscious 
ness that she exerted over him a certain fascination against 
which he had no counter-spell, caused him uneasiius-. 
He turned abruptly round and went forward with lowered 
head, and the vapours recently lifted from his brain began 
to settle over them again. 

Presently he came to the side of a foaming tumbling 
river. He halted, and, without looking into Urith 's face, 
said 

" Now we have come to the Walla, and my cob has been 
restive at crossing water to-day, shah 1 I help you to dis 
mount ? You can go over by the stepping-stones. I must 
ride him across." 

He put forth his hand, but she slipped to her feet unas 
sisted, and handed to him the crop or long-lashed whip 
that had hung at the saddle-bow, but which' she had taken 
in hand. 

"Yes, "he said, "I shall require the crop." Then he 
leaped into the saddle and spurred the horse down into the 
water. 

Urith tripped along the stones till she reached a broad 
block in the midst of the river. She found no difficulty in 
crossing, as the light overhead mirrored itself in the water, 
making of the Walla a very Phlegethon. But for the same 
reason Anthony's cob objected to enter. He reared and 
plunged, and when whipped and spurred, wheeled about. 

Urith watched the futile efforts of her companion. 

Presently she called to Anthony, " The cob will go into 
the water if you pat him. You further frighten him by 
your violence when he is already frightened. The river 
seems to roll down fire and blood." 

" What ! " laughed Anthony ; " will you teach me how to 
manage a horse ? " 

"I have had to do with horses every whit as much as 
yourself," she replied. "Kemember, I am the Wild Muid 
of the Moors." 

He made no reply, but again essayed to force the cob to 
enter the water. Suddenly Urith, still stationed in mid 
stream, uttered an exclamation of surprise, not unmingled 
with alarm. 

She saw black figures emerge on the hill shoulder, vis- 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 21 

ible against the lurid sky, and then descend along the 
Lyke-Way, coming along the same track, in the same di 
rection. 

At once there rushed upon her the stories she had heard 
of ghostly trains of mourners, sweeping at night along this 
road, and of the ill-luck that attended such as cast eyes on 
them. 

" Look ! look ! " she exclaimed, now in real terror. 
"Who are they? what are they ? They are following us, 
Anthony Cleverdon ! Do not let us see them more. Do 
not let them overtake us." 



CHAPTEK m. 

CAUGHT UP ON THE WAY. 

Anthony looked back. Strange was the appearance of 
the moor side, half-lighted by the skies reddened with the 
reflection of fires beyond the hills, but with its surface 
travelled ever by sparks. An imaginative mind might have 
thought that mountain gnomes were alert, and were ram 
bling torch in hand over the moor. Now one red spark 
wandered along in solitude, then out flashed a second, and 
ran to meet it ; as if they were the lights of comrades hail 
ing each other. Suddenly a score sparkled and danced in 
a ring, and were as suddenly extinguished. Or it might 
be supposed that the spirits of the primeval tin-workers 
had returned to earth once more, and were revisiting their 
ancient circles and avenues of stone, to perform in them 
the rites of a forgotten religion. 

To the south-east rose Mistor, one of the loftiest summits 
on the moor, on whose rocky crest, scooped out by wind 
and water, is a huge circular bowl, called by the natives 
the Devil's Fryingpan, in which he prepares the storms 
that lash and explode on the moor. And now it really 
seemed as though the Spirit of the Tempest were at work, 
brewing in his bowl. 

In the strange after-glow that partially lighted the hill-side 
could be seen dark figures descending the Lyke-Way, and 
approaching the ford where Anthony was vainly endeavour- 



22 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

ing to force his cob to cross. Anthony uttered an oath, 
and then redoubled his attempts to drive the brute into 
the water. But it came to the edge, snuffed^ and recoiled. 

" What is it? " asked Urith, still watching the pursuing 
shadows. 

Urith ran back over the stones. 

" Only some folks coming after us. By heaven ! I wish 
I could get this cursed beast over." 

" If 3 r ou take the bridle on one side, I on the other, 
and coax the horse, we can cross by the double stones, and 
he can go in the middle." 

" As the bearers with the dead," said Anthony. 

Urith patted the frightened beast, talked to him, praised 
him, and taking the bridle, quietly led him down to the 
stream. Ever and anon, she turned to look back, and saw 
the shadowy figures rapidly neariug. Who could they be ? 
Would they recognise her ? Were they such as would be 
likely to recognise her ? What, if they knew her, would 
they think of her being at such a time, and in such a place, 
alone with Anthony Cleverdon ? 

Would it be advisable to step aside, and let these travel 
lers pass without seeing her ? But she was too ashamed 
to make such a proposal to her companion. So, as she was 
caressing the horse, and urging him into the water, these 
pursuers, whoever they were, drew nearer. She could 
distinguish that they were mounted. 

Anthony stood on the stepping-stones on one side, Urith 
on those upon the other. The frightened horse cautiously 
put his hoofs in, snuffed at the water, began to drink, re 
covered confidence, and allowed himself to be led along 
through the stream. 

They were past the middle of the river when the pur 
suers came to the side of the stream, and a loud male voice 
exclaimed 

" There is the runaway, and by God not alone ! " 

Urith shuddered, her hand twitched at the bridle, and 
made the horse start. She knew the voice well. It was 
not a pleasant one, harsh, and with mockery and insult in 
its tones. As her hand contracted, so did her heart, and 
sent a rush of blood tingling to her temples. 

" That is Fox Crymes ! " she said to her companion, 
" the last, the very last man I would have had see me here." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 23 

" Why the last ? " asked Anthony, stepping on the bank, 
and leading the horse up on the land. " Why the last that 
you would, have see you, Urith ? " 

"Because it was on his account I ran away." 

" What," laughed Anthony, " Then it is Fox whom yon 
would have bitten, had he allowed you to fasten your teeth 
on him?" 

Urith's colour deepened ; if Anthony had had pity, he 
would not have said this. If he had looked in her face, he 
would have seen how dark it was with shame and vexation. 

"You wring all out. You are cruel yes, Fox Crymes," 
she muttered. 

" And I am not surprised. I would like to thrash him," 
said Anthony. " For one thing, for coming tip with us 
now." 

The pursuing party consisted of but three, Fox his real 
Christian name was Anthony and two others, Bessie, the 
sister of Anthony Cleverdon, and Julian, Fox Crimes' half- 
sister. Both Crymes and Cleverdon had the same Chris 
tian name. Old Cleverdon, the father, had been sponsor 
to Crymes, and in compliment to him had received at the 
font his godfather's name. 

Fox was the only son of Fernando Crymes. Since child 
hood he had borne the nickname, partly because of his red 
hair, partly because of his pointed features, also, in a meas 
ure, because it was thought that somewhat of the craft 
and subtlety of Reynard was intwined in his nature. He 
did not object to the designation ; it had attached itself 
to him at an early age, when it conveyed no meaning to 
his mind, and in mature years he accepted it without de 
mur, and was perhaps a little proud that he should be 
credited with superior shrewdness. 

After the death of Fox's mother, old Fernando Crymes 
had married an heiress a Glanville and by her had a 
single daughter, Julian, at whose birth this second wife 
had died. Fernando Crymes, though belonging to a very 
ancient and estated family, had frittered away such remains 
of the property as had come to him, and would have been 
reduced to threadbare circumstances had not his second 
marriage rehabilitated him. He was trustee for his 
daughter, and lived on her estate. His son, Anthony, was 
but too well aware that the portion of goods that would 



24 TJRITll: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

fall to himself must be small, whereas his half-sister would 
be wealthy. The consciousness of this disparity in their 
prospects affected their relations to each other. Julian 
was disposed to imperiousness, and Fox let no opportunity 
pass of saying or doing something to annoy her. 

" You have played us a scurvy trick, Anthony," said 
Fox, as he splashed through the river, and came up with 
the two on the further bank ; then pushing close to Urith, 
whom Anthony had remounted on his saddle, he peered 
rudely into her face. He uttered an exclamation of rage 
as he recognised her, and turned away towards Cleverdon, 
and said, in a rasping tone, " We awaited you at the tav 
ern an endless age, ever expecting you to come and let us 
know whether you had found the colts or not. I assured 
your sister and mine that you were after game of some 
sort, and the colt-seeking was a mask, but they would not 
believe me. Finally, I went to the stable, and found that 
you had slipped away without a word." 

" Was I bound to let you know I was going home ? " 
asked Anthony Cleverdon, without an effort to disguise his 
ill-humour. 

"Bound, certainly, by all the ties of breeding and good- 
fellowship," answered Fox. "But, in good faith, when a 
woman is concerned, all other considerations are thrown 
to the winds." 

Then he fell back, and addressing his sister Julian and 
Bessie Cleverdon loud enough to be overheard by those 
in front, he said, " I never doubted but that Anthony came 
after something other than colts, and to make a mock of 
us. I told you as much when we were at the Saracen's 
Head, and you scouted my words. You said the Fox was 
ever suspicious, but the Fox has his eye and his nose, and 
ear keen, and I saw, and smelt, and heard what was hidden 
to duller senses." 

Cleverdon turned round. He was angry, but he said 
nothing. 

Fox Crymes went on, tauntingly. " There is game of 
all sorts on the Moor ; but, good Lord ! it is sometimes 
hard to say which is the game and which the sportsman, 
and which has been in pursuit of the other." 

"Silence that malicious tongue of yours, or I will silence 
it for you," said Anthony, angrily. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 25 

" O ! I am always to be threatened whenever I draw 
my bow, but you are to be scatheless, whatever your con 
duct be." 

" You fight unfairly, with poisoned weapons." 

"And you retaliate, like a wild man, with a bludgeon," 
answered Crymes. "Are we to hold our hands when 
treated by you as it has pleased you ? You invited us to 
attend you to the Moor and spend with you a merry day, 
and then you desert us. Are we not free to question why 
we are thus treated ? " 

Then Bessie rode forwards beside' Urith, and asked, 
" Tell me, how came you here ? " 

" She lost her way in the smoke, and no marvel," said 
Anthony Cleverdon. " I discovered her strayed among 
the bogs, and engirded with flames ; and had I not done 
so, she would have stayed all night." 

" But what brought her on to the moors ? " 

" The same occasion that brought you, Bess she came 
to see the fires. She became distraught with the smoke, 
wandered, and lost all knowledge of her direction " 

"It is well, brother, that you found her," said Elizabeth ; 
and then, in a lower tone, "Brother, brother, speak to 
Julian. You have been short of courtesy to-day, and she 
resents it." 

Anthony shrugged his shoulders. 

"I will ride alongside of Urith," said Elizabeth Clever 
don. "You must not allow it to be observed that you 
lack manners, brother Anthony. You persuaded Julian 
and me to come with you and see the moor on fire, and 
you have left us to ourselves, and now disregard her mark- 
edly." 

Whilst the brother and sister were in conversation near 
the horse on which Urith was mounted, Julian Crymes 
passed them with averted head, and took the lead along 
the Lyke-Way. Anthony, admonished by Bessie, strode 
forward after her, but with a frown and curl of the lips. 

Julian Crymes was a handsome dark-haired girl, with a 
rich, warm complexion, and full lips and rounded chin. 
Her eyes were large, with that droop in the lids that gives 
an impression of sensuous languor. 

She heard Anthony tread at her side, but did not deign 
to cast on him a look, neither did she throw a word at him. 



26 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Indeed, she was angry and offended, her bosom was heav 
ing, her blood was simmering, and her lips she bit to pre 
vent their quiver. Anthony was out of humour at having 
been caught up by the party, and was conscious that he 
had not behaved with civility, but was too proud in him 
self, too indifferent to the feelings of others, to acknowl 
edge himself to be in the wrong, and to make amends for 
his lack of courtesy to others. 

Accordingly they pursued their way, side by side, she 
riding with averted head, he pacing with knitted brows 
and downcast eyes, in silence, and for some considerable 
distance. 

The situation was irksome. Each, instead of speaking, 
was endeavouring to catch what was said in the rear, each 
with suspicion that Fox was saying something behind their 
backs which would cause the left ear to tingle. 

Julian was the first to find the situation intolerable, and to 
break from it. She turned her head over her shoulders 
and said, 

" Bessie could hardly be persuaded to leave the Saracen's 
Head, even when she heard that you had taken your horse 
and had ridden away. She has a marvellous faith in you, 
not shaken by a thousand evidences that you are wanting 
in those qualities on which faith can be reared. After this 
day's experience, even if I at any time shared in her esti 
mation of your qualities of cavalier, I shall cease to do so 
for the future. The first obligation of a cavalier is to be 
mannerly towards ladies." 

" You had Fox with you. I found Urith lost in the 
morasses, and was forced to help a damsel who was in jeop 
ardy that, I take it, is the first duty of a cavalier. You 
were in no straits and she was. You had help, she none." 

" You might have called us to aid you in extracting her 
from the morass, or in assisting her to reach her home 
afterwards." 

Anthony made no reply to this. No reply was possible. 

" Come ! " said Julian, the pent-up auger in her heart 
flashing forth. " Have you no apology to offer for your 
misconduct ? " 

" What would you have me say ? " 

" Nay ! It is not for me to put the words into your 
mouth." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 27 

"I have told you my reason." 

" A poor and pitiful reason, ungarnisbed with excuse to 
hide its sorry nature. If the reason be bad, so much the 
more should it be trimmed with excuses." 

" If I have offended you, I am sorry. I cannot help it." 

Julian tossed her head. She was highly incensed. He 
made no attempt to mollify her. 

Fox came alongside. 

"I hope, Julian," he said, "that you have soundly rated 
Anthony for his ill-conduct." 

She did not answer. 

" We might have had a merry canter home over the 
turf," continued Fox, "had not Anthony spoiled our fun 
by setting all our tempers on the edge. But it may be that 
it better comports with the character of the Lyke-Way that 
we should travel over it rather as mourners than as merry 
makers, and that, forsooth, we are, bearing dead fellow 
ship between us." 

" There is no occasion for that," said Anthony. 

" In truth there is, though you who have slain it may 
not be aware." 

"I have no desire to spoil your mirth," said Cleverdon. 
" Ride on yourself, Fox, with your sister, and leave me be 
hind." 

" Julian and I are the worst of company together. We 
snarl and snap at each other when a third, not of the fami 
ly, is not by to control us. We will certainly not leave 
you. I can see that Julian is already in no agreeable 
mood, and I dare not venture myself in her company un 
protected." 

" I ! " said Julian Crymes, tossing her head, " I you 
mistake, Tony, I am merry." 

Fox Crymes laughed mockingly, and spurred on his 
horse, leaving his sister with Anthony. Bessie brought up 
the rear with Urith. The train was, as he said, more in 
character with the way than if it had been composed of 
merrymakers. Urith and Bessie spoke together in a low 
tone ; now that Fox had ridden forward, silence again fell 
on Anthony and Julian. He could not have seen the face 
of Julian had he essayed to do so, for he walked on the 
off-side, and she kept her head averted, and he his eyes 
depressed. She was glad that her face was hidden from 



28 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR, 

observation, so agitated was it with disappointment, 
wounded pride, and jealousy. 

Then Fox, ahead, began to sing to himself in strident 
tones a snatch of an old ballad, and every word in it fell 
on Julian's heart as a drop of burning phosphorous that 
no water will extinguish, but that burns down where it 
has fallen, burying itself, till it has exhausted its fire. 

If I of marriage spake one word, 

I wot it was not true. 
Man loveth none so easy won, 

So over fond as yon. 
All in your garden grows a Lerb, 

I think they call it rue ; 
There willows weep o'er waters deep 

That is the place for you. 

The tears of mortification rushed into Julian's eyes. 
Her bosom heaved, and sharply she wheeled her horse 
about, rode back to those that followed, and said to Bes 
sie, in a voice quivering with emotion, " Go on to the two 
Anthonys. I want a word with Urith." 

Without demur. Elizabeth left her place and passed 
Julian, who drew up across the road to force Urith to rein 
in. Urith looked at her with some surprise. She did not 
know Julian except by sight ; she had never spoken to her 
in her life. And now this latter stayed her course as 
though she were a highwayman demanding her purse. 

Julian at first was unable to speak, choked by her pas 
sion. She panted for breath and laboured for words, and 
both failed her. With nervous hands she plucked at her 
gloves, and dragged rather than drew them off. 

" Will you allow me to go forward ? " asked Urith coldly. 

Then all at once Julian broke forth into a stream of 
words, disconnected, fiery with the fury that raged within. 

" You would snatch him away ! You ! And you do not 
know, or you do not care, that he and I are destined for 
each other have been ever since our cradles. Who are 
you to come between us? What are you, Urith Malviue, 
but a half-savage moor-girl ? I have heard of you. Folks 
have tongues, and tell tales. Why did you come forth on 
the moor, but because you were aware that he was here ? 
You came to play the forlorn damsel to attract the pity 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 29 

and ensure the attention of this knight-errant. Are you 
crafty? I am not. I am straightforward, and do not 
deign to wear a false face, and put the domino on my 
heart. I have heard of you ; but I never supposed you 
were crafty." She half-started up her stirrups : " Would 
we might fight out our quarrel here, on this spot." 

She had reared her arm with her whip, the horse started, 
and she sank back on her seat; she had exhausted her 
words for the moment. Her blood tumbled, roared, 
flowed in her arteries like the river on the moor behind 
them. 

" You are mistaken," said Urith with composure. " You 
flare forth unprovoked ; or is it that you are angry with me 
because I have refused to have anything to say to your 
brother ? " 

"To Fox!" Julian laughed contemptuously. "I re 
spect you for that. I never supposed that you or any 
sane girl would care for him. But the wherefore of his re 
jection I did not know till this day. I little suspected that 
Fox Avas cast aside because you were questing him who is 
mine is mine, do you hear ? Do you understand that he 
is not, and never shall be, yours ? He is mine, and neither 
you nor any other shall pluck him from me. I would we 
might fight this out together with these weapons ! " She 
reverted to the thought that had occupied her when the 
horse started and interrupted the thread of her ideas. 
"You, I see, have Anthony's crop that I gave him on his 
birthday ; and I have but this lady's switch. I do not con 
sider the difference. Just as we are as we sit on our 
horses, here, on the turf and heather, with our whips 
would to God we might fight it out ! " 

Again she paused for breath, and panted, and put both 
her hands to her bounding heart the hand that held the 
whip and that in which was the bridle and her gloves. 

Then she began to cut with her whip, and the horse she 
rode to curvet. 

"Even with this little lash I would fight you, and slash 
you up and down across your treacherous face ; and if you 
struck me I should not feel the blows but there, it would 
not be seemly. Alack the day in which we are fallen 
when we are covered with a net of such delicacy that we 
may not lift hand or foot to right ourselves ! " 



30 VRITIt: A TALK OF DARTMOOR. 

She drew a long breath and laid both her hands on the 
whip and bridle over the mane of the horse, and, leaning 
forward, said 

"But who what could interfere if we went a race 
down the hillside among the bogs and rocks, so that one 
or other would be flung at a stumble of our steeds, and 
dash out the brains from our heads on the boulders? 
Would that please you? Would that approve itself to 
you ? I should draw rein and laugh were that to chance to 
you." Then in an explosion of jealousy and rage, she 
clashed her gloves in the face of Urith. " I dare you ! 
Yes, I dare you to wrest him from me ! " 

Urith sat on the horse unmoved. She was surprised, 
she was not angry. This was the foaming over of boiling 
passion, but not a frenzied paroxysm such as came upon 
herself. The charges brought against her were monstrous, 
untrue so monstrous and so untrue that they bore no 
sting that could pain her. 

She replied in her rich deep tones, and with composure. 
"You mistake. I will not take up your challenge. What 
is Anthony to me ? What am I to him ? You are beauti 
ful, clever, and rich and I," she laughed, "I am but an 
ungroomed, undisciplined moor colt, who never gave a 
thought to her looks, whether fair or foul. I am without 
wit, without scholarship, living with my mother on our 
poor manor, so poor in means as to be hardly accounted 
gentle, yet, by birth, too gentle to be esteemed boors. No, 
I will not contest with you. We are furnished unequally 
for a contest, you have the long whip and I but the 
switch." 

At that moment the wind, blowing strongly, carried a 
tuft of ignited gorse overhead, and as it bore the tuft, 
fanned into fragrance, and the glare momentarily kindled 
the faces of the two girls planted in opposition. 

Each saw the other clearer than in daylight, for the light 
fell on their faces and the background was sable, unil- 
lumined. As Urith looked, she saw how handsome was 
lier opponent, with fluttering locks, her colour heightened 
by wrath, her full lips trembling, her eyes flashing. She 
thought that if she were to match herself against such an 
one she would come away with ignominious defeat ; and 
Julian, by the same light, and at the same moment, formed 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 31 

her opinion of the rival facing her, recognised her strength, 
her charm, and felt that she was a girl who would jeopard 
ise her hold over Anthony, and imperil her happiness. 

Both were strong women, one threatening, the other re 
luctant to fight. Would they come into real conflict? 
Would the reluctance of the one be overborne ? Would 
the threat of the first lead to action ? And, if they fought, 
which would win? 

"No," said Urith, "I do not covet the prize. So much 
for one thing. For the other, as I said, the odds are un 
equal." 

"Then," said Julian, "return me my gloves." 

" I suppose they have fallen. Would you have me dis 
mount to search the grass for them ? Get off your horse 
yourself, or call Fox to your aid. I will not stoop to look 
for them for you." 

" You have my gloves. They are not on the ground. 
Return them to me, or I " 

Then Urith impatiently whipped her horse and thrust 
Julian aside. " This is arrant folly/' she said ; "I want to 
be at home. I will be stayed by you no longer." 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE SUSPENSE. 

The ill-assorted, discordant party pushed on as fast as 
possible along a road that, as it neared inhabited country, 
became rough and uncertain, and under a sky of diminished 
light, for the heather on this portion of the moor had been 
burnt early in the day, and hardly any of the embers re 
mained aglow. 

No combination was possible that would content all, for 
every one except the good-humoured Bessie had some 
private grudge against another, and Bessie herself was de 
pressed by the general dissatisfaction. 

Anthony Cleverdon was vexed that he had not been left 
to convey Urith to her home undisturbed, though he ad 
mitted to himself that for her sake the present accidental 
arrangement was the best. Julian Crymes, still incandes- 



32 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

cent in her anger and jealousy, was unwilling to speak to 
Anthony, and unwilling to allow him to leave her side to 
address a word to, and show attention to, Urith. When 
she did speak to him, it was in a taunting tone, and his 
answers were curt, almost to rudeness. 

The temper of Fox Cryines, never smooth, was now 
fretted to considerable asperity ; for he was smarting under 
the sense of rejection. He had asked for the hand of 
Urith, and had been refuse 1, and he saw, or suspected 
that he saw, a reason for his rejection an attachment for 
Anthony Cleverdon. Fox was vain and conceited, and en 
vious of his namesake, who had superior physical powers, 
a finer person, and a better fortune than himself. He was 
not sony that his half-sister was disappointed, for whatever 
might distress her, gave pleasure to him. However, the 
occasion of her distress ou this occasion was something 
that wounded him as well as her. 

Fox loved Urith, as far as ho was capable of loving, but 
the jealousy he now felt was no measure of his love ; like 
the famous Serpent's Egg, it was bred of a score of parents. 
It was the produce of mortified vanity, of envy of Anthony 
Cleverdon's superior gifts of nature and fortune, of disap 
pointed avarice, quite as much as of rejected love. 

Fox Crymes' suit for Urith was not instigated wholly by 
his admiration for her charms ; it sprang quite as much 
out of his desire to obtain the small patrimony which would 
fall to her on her mother's decease. 

Willsworthy was an ancient manor, never of great im 
portance, and without fertilitj', yet not despicable in the 
eyes of a poor gentleman. It lay on the extreme limits of 
cultivated laud, or rather it may be said to have occupied 
the debateable ground between the waste and culture. It 
occupied a hill that ran as a spur out of the moorland, be 
tween torrents, and seemed to be what, no doubt, it was, 
a portion of wilderness snatched from savagery, and 
hedged in. It possessed no good soil, it lay too high for 
wheat to ripen on it, it was destitute of these pasture 
meadows by the waterside, where the grass grows knee- 
deep, and is gold-sprinkled in spring with buttercups ; it 
was dominated by rugged tors, and stood near the entrance 
of the gorge of the Tavy, where it ro-ired and leaped, and 
shot as it came down into the lowlands, and with it came 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 33 

down the cold blasts that also roared and whirled, and beat 
about the lone Manor of Willswortlrpi 

Mrs. Malvine talked disparagingly of her farm, her bro 
ther Solomon Gibbs averred it was an estate on which to 
starve, and not to live. Urith accepted their verdict as 
final, she knew the need for money that ever prevailed' in 
her house ; and yet Fox Crymes cast greedy eyes upon the 
estate. He saw that it possessed capabilities that were disre 
garded by the widow and her brother. The manor owned 
considerable rights. It had the freedom of the moor, to 
send out upon it an unlimited number of sheep and cattle 
and colts ; at a time when English wool was fetching a high 
price, and was exported to the Mediterranean, to Cadiz, 
to Leghorn, to Palermo, to Marseilles ; this was important 
it afforded exceptional opportunities of making money. 
There needed but the initial outlay on the stock, their 
keep was free. Not only so, but sheep in lowlands were, 
in wet seasons, afflicted with disease which slew them in 
great numbers, which sometimes exterminated entire flocks. 
But sheep on the moor were never known thus to suffer ; 
they enjoyed perfect immunity from the many maladies 
which attend keeping them on cultivated land. 

The climate in the West of England is so mild that it 
was possible to let the sheep run on the moor through the 
major portion of the year, only for a few months in the 
depth of the winter, possibly only when snow lay on the 
moor, was it needful to provide them with food ; and the 
meadows of Willsworthy, though they did not produce 
rank grass, yet produced hay that was extraordinary sweet 
and nutritious, and in sufficient abundance to support a 
large number of sheep and cattle for the short time during 
which they were debarred from foraging for themselves. 
Anthony Crymes saw plainly enough, that if he had the 
management of the estate of Willsworthy he would make 
it a mine of gold ; and that the reason why it did not now 
flourish was the lack of capital in the acres, and misman 
agement. Anthony Crymes knew that some money would 
come to him from his father, not indeed much, but just 
sufficient for his purpose, should he acquire this property 
and he was very ambitious of obtaining it. 

At present, Mrs. Malvine entrusted the conduct of the 
farm to her brother Solomon who belied his name ; he 



34 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

was a man without any knowledge of farming, and with 
no interest save in his violin, and who took delight only in 
good company. The farm was allowed to take its course, 
which was naturally a retrograde one a relapse from for 
mer culture into pristine wilderness. 

At the period of this tale, some two hundred years ago, 
every squire farmed, if not his entire estate, at all events 
a portion of it Men of ancient pedigree, proud of their 
ancestral properties and mansions, of their arms and their 
alliances, did not disdain to ride to market and cheapen 
cattle. 

The Civil War ruined most of the squires who had taken 
up arms for the King, litigation ruined others ; then came 
in the great merchants and bought the old owners out, and 
established themselves in their room. They understood 
nothing of fanning, and esteemed it despicable and un 
worthy of their new-fangled gentility to pursue it. 

With the gall of envy bitter in his heart did Fox see the 
other Anthony walk alongside of TJrith, and assume to 
wards her an intimacy to which he himself had never at 
tained. The girl had ever avoided him, had treated him 
with coldness tinged with ill-disguised disdain. She had 
not made that effort to veil her dislike which will gloss 
over a repulse. Fox saw another man better favoured than 
himself, reach at a bound a position he had laboriously 
tried to mount, and had failed. 

Hall, or as the country-folk called it "Yall," was the 
house of the Cleverdons. It had belonged to the Glanville 
estates had been bought by old Judge Glanville, in the 
reign of Elizabeth, who had founded the family. The 
Glanvilles had flourished for awhile, and had spread over 
the country-side, taking up estate after estate, and had 
collapsed as suddenly as they had risen. The Cleverdons 
had been farmers, renting Hall, and when that estate was 
sold old Cleverdon by some means got together sufficient 
money to purchase it, and since the purchase had laid out 
considerable sums to transform what had been a modest 
farmhouse into a pretentious squire's mansion. 

Old Anthony was in that transitional state in which, pas 
sing from one rank of life to another, he was comfortable 
in neither. He was sensitive and ambitious sensitive to 
slights, and ambitious to push himself and his son into a 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 35 

better social position than that which had been occupied 
by his ancestors ; and, indeed, by himself in early life. 
The Crymes family had been connected with the Glan- 
villes by marriage, and now old Anthony schemed on the 
acquisition of another portion of the Glanville property, 
through the marriage of his son and heir with Julian 
Crymes. The old man's success had fostered his ambition-. 
He indulged in a dream of the Cleverdons, by skilful man 
agement, assuming eventually the position once maintained 
by the Glanvilles. 

The Civil Wars had produced vast displacement in the 
social strata. The old gentry were failing, and those who 
had taken part with neither side, but had waited on their 
own interests in selfish or indifferent neutrality, were re 
warded by emerging, Avhere others were falling into ruin, 
into ripe prosperity. After that Anthony Cleverdon, the 
elder, had acquired the freehold of Hall, he had become a 
widower, and showed no disposition to take to himself 
another wife. His marriage had not been a happy experi 
ence, and none had felt the disagreement in it more than 
Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, who, after her mother's 
death, had been called to manage the household. If the 
opinion of Magdalen Cleverdon were to be taken the un 
married sister of Anthony, senior who lived in a small 
house in Tavistock, the blame of the unhappiness of her 
brother's married life lay with his wife ; but then the 
judgment of Magdalen was warped and partial. When 
Anthony brought home his young wife, she Magdalen 
had endeavoured to remain at the head of the house, to 
interfere where she could not direct, Mrs. Cleverdon had 
taken a very decided line, and refused all intermeddlement, 
and Magdalen, after a sharp struggle for supremacy, had 
left the house routed. Disappointment had embittered 
her estimate of her sister-in-law. 

But there were other and more substantial grounds for 
her charging her sister-in-law with having rendered the 
marriage an unhappy one. Mrs. Anthony had been a 
portionless girl, the daughter of a poor parson ; Margaret 
Pen warn e might have been regarded as a suitable match 
socially, but pecuniarily, she was most unsuitable, especially 
to an ambitious and money-grasping man. 

What her brother could see to admire in Margaret Pen- 



36 URITJI: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

warne, Miss Cleverdon protested she never could see she 
entirely forgot that Margaret had been endowed with sur 
passing beauty. 

Others beside Magdalen Cleverdon had marvelled at the 
choice of Anthony, knowing the character of the man. 
What could induce a man, whose main features were am 
bition and greed, to select as his partner one who had not 
a penny, nor was connected with any of the gentle families 
of the neighbourhood ? Magdalen had not reckoned on the 
girl's beauty ; the others who wondered had not counted 
on Anthony's ambition, which would exert itself in other 
directions than they considered. His ambition was deeply 
tinctured with, if it did not originate in, personal vanity. 
Vanity is but ambition in a fool's cap, and that of Cleverdon 
was well hung with bells. Because he considered himself 
the richest man in the neighbourhood of his class, he es 
teemed himself also irresistible as a wooer. He had been 
treated with considerable severity by his father in his early 
years, for the old man had been a strait Puritan, though 
not such an one as to risk any money for his cause, or com 
promise his safety for it in any wa} r . He allowed his son 
no freedom, consulted his wishes in no particular, and al 
lowed him no pocket-money. When the old man died, 
Anthony was left with a good deal of hoarded money, and 
freedom to act as he listed. His fancy was taken by Mar 
garet Penwarne, and his vanity and ambition stimulated 
by the knowledge that she was already the object of the 
attentions of Richard Malvine, the son of a neighbouring par 
son, without profession and without inheritance. Richard 
Malvine was a handsome man, and Margaret Penwarne cer 
tainly was attached to him, but the marriage could not be 
thought of till Richard had a competence on which to sup 
port himself and a wife. Anthony Cleverdon entered the 
list against the handsomest young man in the district, but 
he had money and a good farm to set against good looks. 
He and Richard had been together at the Grammar School, 
and had been rivals there, Richard ever taking the lead, 
and on one occasion had thrashed Anthony severely. It 
was with eagerness that Cleverdon seized the opportunity 
of gratifying his malice by snatching from Malvine the girl 
of his heart, and it flattered his vanity to have it said of 
him that he had won the most beautiful girl of the district 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 37 

over the head of the handsomest man. Margaret struggled 
for some time between her affection and her ambition ; the 
urgency of her father and mother prevailed, she cast off 
Mai vine and accepted Cleverdou. 

Anthony Cleverdon's pride was satisfied. He had gained 
a triumph, and was wrapped up in the sense of victory for 
a while, then the gloss of novelty wore off, and he began to 
regret his precipitancy in taking to him a wife who brought 
nothing into the family save good looks. The thriftiness 
of the father now came out in the son. He did not grudge 
and withhold money where he could make display, but he 
cut down expenses where no show was made, to the lowest 
stage of meanness. Margaret's father died. She thought 
to take her mother to live with her at Hall, but to this her 
husband would not consent, nor could she wring a silver coin 
from him wherewith to assist her mother, reduced to great 
poverty. This occasioned the first outbreak of domestic 
hostilities. Margaret was a woman of temper, and would 
not submit tamely to the domination of her husband. His 
sister Magdalen took sides against her, and fanned the em 
bers of strife when they gave token of expiring. If Mar 
garet had been of a meek and yielding temperament, the 
marriage might not have been so full of broils ; her husband 
would have crushed her, and then ignored her. But her 
spirit rose against him, and stirred the discord that was 
only temporarily allayed. She could not shut her eyes to 
his infirmities, she would not condescend to flatter him. In 
her heart she contrasted him with the man she had loved 
and had betrayed ; her heart never warmed to her husband ; 
on the contrary, indifference changed into hatred. She 
made no scruple about showing him the state of her mind, 
she pitilessly unmasked his meannesses, and held them up 
to mockery ; she scoffed at his efforts to thrust himself into 
a position for which he was not born ; he found no more 
penetrating, remorseless critic of all he did, than his own 
wife. 

Anthony Cleverdon believed, and was justified in believ 
ing, that his old rival, Richard Malvine, stood between him 
and domestic peace, as a shadow that blighted and engalled 
his relations to his wife ; that, though he had' triumphed 
formally over his rival, that rival had gained the lasting and 
substantial success. Anthony Cleverdon might prize him- 



38 URITH: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

self as high as he pleased, but he could no longer blind 
himself to the fact, that his money bogs which had won his 
wife for him, were unavailing to buy her affections, and 
secure to him the fruits of his triumph. 

This consciousness stimulated his hatred of Malvine to 
fresh acridity, and in his meanness, he found a base satis 
faction in humiliating his wife by every means in his power, 
and on every available opportunity. 

The birth of Bessie did not serve to unite the pair, for 
Anthony Cleverdou had set his heart on having a son, and 
when, after the lapse of a considerable interval of time, the 
desired son arrived, it was too late to serve as a link of rec 
onciliation. Mi's. Cleverdon died shortly after his birth, her 
only regret being that she had to leave her daughter, whom 
she loved with double passion, partly because her desolate 
heart naturally clung to some object, and had none other to 
which to attach itself, partly also because little Bessie was 
totally disregarded by her father. 

Richard Malvine consoled himself for his disappointment 
by marrying Marianne Gibbs, of Willsworthy ; he took her 
for the sake of Willsworthy, as Margaret Penwarne had 
taken Anthony Cleverdon for the sake of Hull. He was a 
feckless man, who had lived at home in the parsonage with 
his father, had hunted, had shot, and had never earned a 
penny for himself. He died, thrown from his horse, in 
hunting, a few years after his marriage, leaving an only 
child, Urith. 

The death of the mother produced no alteration in the 
conduct of Anthony Cleverdon towards her daughter. 
What love he had in his heart was bestowed on his son 
the heir to his name and estate. 

In nature all forces are correlated. Indeed it is said that 
force is a pure and unique factor, and that light, heat, sound, 
etc., are but various manifestations or aspects of the one 
primal force. It would be hard to say whether old An 
thony's love for his boy might not be considered as another 
phase of his ambition. He had never himself been a firm- 
built, handsome man ; undersized and of mean appearance, 
he had felt the slight that this physical defect had entailed 
on him. But the young Tony was robust of constitution, 
burly of frame, and had inherited his mother's beauty. At 
Hall, from the hour of his birth, young Anthony had be- 



TJRITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 39 

come a sovereign, and every one was placed beneath his 
footstool. Every inmate of the house laboured to spoil 
him, either because he was himself provocative of love, or 
out of a desire to curry favour with the father. He tyran 
nised over his sister, he was despotic with his father, he 
was wayward and exacting with the servants. Nothing 
that he did was wrong in his father's eyes ; he grew up into 
manhood demanding of the outer world, as a right, that 
which was accorded to him in his home as a favour. 



CHAPTEE V. 

THE GLOVE TAKEN UP. 

Every member of the little party felt sensible of relief 
when they came out on the high road and left the moor 
behind. For some time all had been silent ; the efforts to 
start and maintain conversation had signally failed, and a 
funeral party would have been livelier. 

As soon as the hoofs of the horses rang on the roadway, 
the fetters that had bound the tongues were thrown aside, 
and words a few were interchanged. 

After ten minutes or a quarter of an hour a little tavern 
by the wayside was reached, named the Hare and Hounds ; 
and then Anthony Cleverdon laid his hand on the bit of 
the horse Urith rode. 

"My cob must bait here," he said "at least, have a 
mouthful ; so must you. I will go in and see what can be 
provided, and bid the landlady lay the table." 

"I thank you," said Urith ; " but I desire to go home at 
once. The distance is in no way considerable. I know 
where I am. But surely I hear my uncle's voice." 

That individual appeared at the open door. He was a 
stout man, with a very red face and a watery eye. His wig 
was awry. He stood with a pipe in one hand and a tank 
ard in the other. 

" Aha ! " shouted Solomon Gibbs. " I said the truth ! I 
knew that it was in vain for me to go in quest of you on 
the moors, niece. Told your mother so ; but she wouldn't 
believe me. Come on come, and let's be jolly drive 



40 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

away dull melancholy ! I knew that you must come on to 
the road somewhere ; and, if on to the road, then to the 
inn. For what is the inn, my boys, but the very focus and 
acme to which all gather, and from which nil radiate ? 
Come iii come in." 

"I wish to push on," said Urith. 

"How can you without my cob?" asked Anthony rough 
ly. " I have said she baits here. You, also you must 
be perishing for food. We all are ; have been mum all the 
way home no fun, no talking. So, come in." 

"That is right urge her, young man, to follow the 
advice of age and" experience," shouted Mr. Gibbs. 

Then he began to sing : 

Come in y lads, let us be jolly, 
Drive away dull melancholy, 
For to grieve it is a folly 

When we're met together. 

So, my friends, let u* agree, 
Always keep good company, 
Why should we not merry, merry be 

/ When we're met together ? 

He brandished his tobacco-pipe over his head, in so 
doing striking his wig with the stem, and at once breaking 
the latter, and thrusting the wig over his ear, and then 
dived into the alehouse again. He was half tipsy. 

" You are right," said Elizabeth to Urith. " You must 
go on. Your mother is anxious, probably in a state of 
serious alarm." 

"My uncle's horse is in the stable, I doubt not," an 
swered Urith, " and as he will not bo disposed to leave till 
he be unfit to accompany me, I will borrow the horse, and 
send it back by a servant." 

" I will accompany you," said Elizabeth, " and the serv 
ing man that brings back the horse can accompany me. 
The distance is inconsiderable, yet you must not at night 
travel it alone. Fox and Julian have, I see, turned their 
horses' heads homewards without bidding us a farewell. I 
cannot stay outside whilst Anthony is within, and I do not 
care to enter when men are drinking." 

"Your brother will hardly leave you alone outside." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 41 

" My brother will probably forget all about me when he 
gets with Mr. Gibbs aiid others who can sing a good song 
and tell a merry tale." 

She said this without any reproach in her tone. She 
was so accustomed to be neglected, forgotten, to find her 
self thrust aside by her brother, that she no longer felt' 
unhappy about it ; she accepted it as her due. 

Urith sent a stable-boy for Mr. Gibbs' horse, and having 
mounted it, gratefully accepted Bessie Cleverdon's company 
for the ride of three miles to Willsworthy. 

Urith knew Bessie very little. Old Mr. Cleverdon did 
not care that his children should associate with the Mai- 
vines. His bitterness against the father, Richard, over 
flowed all his belongings wife and child and estate ; but 
he published no reasons for his dislike to association with 
the owners of Willsworthy, who, moreover, on account of 
their poverty, kept to themselves. The Cleverdons mixed 
with those who were in prosperous circumstances, and kept 
themselves, or were kept, aloof from those on whom For 
tune turned her back. Mrs. Malvine had for some time 
been a woman in failing health, and, having no neighbours, 
Urith had grown up accustomed to'be solitary, and not to 
know the value of the friendship, or at least the com 
panionship, of girls of her own age and rank. She was 
too proud to associate, like her Uncle Solomon, with 
those of a lower grade, and she had not the opportunity 
of forming acquaintanceship of those fitted to be her com 
rades. 

As Urith rode beside Bessie, her heart stirred with a 
sensation of pleasure strange to her. There was a kind 
ness, a sympathy in the manner of Elizabeth Cleverdon 
that found a way at once to Urith's heart, and she warmed 
to her and shook off reserve. And Elizabeth on her side 
was touched by the simplicity, the loneliness of the girl's 
mind, and when they reached the entrance gates to Wills- 
worthy she held out her hand to Urith, and said : 

" This must be the beginning of our friendship. I do 
not know how it is that we have not met before, or rather, 
have not met to make acquaintance. Promise me that you 
will not let this be the beginning and the ending of a 
friendship." 

"That lies with you," said Urith, with timidity. It was 



42 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

to her too surprising a glimpse into happiness for her to 
trust its reality. 

" If it lies with me," said Elizabeth, " then you may be 
assured it will be warm and fast ; expect to see me again 
soou. I will come over and visit you. But here let us 
not part thus. Give me a kiss and take mine." 

The girls drew their horses alongside each other and 
kissed. The tears came into Urith's eyes at this offered 
and given pledge of kindness. It was to her a wholly new 
experience, and was to her of inexpressible value. 

Then Urith called a serving man, alighted, and deh'vered 
her horse up to him that he might attend Bessie Cleverdou 
on her way back to the Hare and Hounds, and leave it 
there for her uncle when it pleased Mr. Solomon Gibbs to 
return home. 

Bessie found that her brother was angry and offended 
when he came out of the alehouse and discovered that 
Urith had departed without a word ; he had felt himself 
obliged to wait for his sister, because it would not be 
seemly to allow her to i-ide home in the dark alone ; but 
he vented his ill-humour on her when she appeared. Bes 
sie bore his reproaches with patience. She was accus 
tomed to be found fault with by her father, and less fre 
quently, nevertheless sometimes, and always unreasonably, 
by her brother. 

"I've promised the ostler a shilling to attend you to 
Hall," said Anthony. "There is Fox returned, and there 
is Solomon Gibbs here, and I don't feel inclined to go 
home." 

"Father will be ill-pleased at your remaining away so 
long," remonstrated Bessie. 

"Father has seen so little of me to-day that another 
hour's absence won't signify. The weather is going to 
change we shall have a thunderstorm. Get home as fast 
as you can. Here, Samuel, attend my sister." 

Then Anthony returned to the alehouse. 

At "NVillsworthy, Urith had stood for a moment in the 
porch in hesitation. She knew that she deserved to be 
reproached for her conduct, and she expected it Her 
mother was not a person to spare words. She was repent 
ant, and yet was certain that directly her mother addressed 
her with rebuke her spirit would rise up in revolt 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 43 

To her surprise, when she did enter her mother's room, 
Mrs. Mai vine said no more than this, " Oh, Urith ! what a 
many hours you have been absent. But, my child, what 
is that ? You have gloves hanging to your dress." 

Urith stooped and looked. It was as her mother had 
said the gloves of Julian Crymes had not fallen to the 
ground, they had been caught by the tags in the gown of 
Urith, and hung there. She disengaged them, and held 
them in her hand. She had unwittingly taken up the gage. 



CHAPTER VI. 

MAGDALEN'S PLANS. 

Magdalen Cleverdon had come out for that day from 
Tavistock to visit her brother at Hall. She did not appear 
there very often, but made a point of duty to visit Hall 
once a quarter. Old Anthony had not interfered when his 
wife resisted the interference of her sister-in-law, and dis 
couraged her visits to the house, and after his wife's death 
he had not invited her to be more frequent in her expedi 
tions thither ; nor had he shown her the slightest inclina 
tion to defer to her opinions, and attend to her advice. 

Magdalen's visits can hardly have conduced to her own 
pleasure, so ungracious was her reception when she ap 
peared, except only from Bessie, who was too tender 
hearted to be unkind, unconciliatory to any one. Anthony, 
senior, regarded and spoke of his sister as an old and stupid 
harridan, and the j'ounger Anthony took his tone from his 
father, and did not accord to his aunt the respect that was 
due to relationship and age. 

Although one of her periodical visits to Hall usually 
brought on Magdalen a rebuff, yet she did not desist from 
them, partly because it satisfied her curiosity to see how 
matters fared in the old house, and partly, if not chiefly, 
because she gave herself in Tavistock considerable airs as 
the sister of the Squire of Hall, and she liked to appear to 
her neighbours as if on the best of terms with her kindred 
there. 

Magdalen had never been pretty. Her's was one of 



44 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

those nondescript faces which Nature turns oat when 
inventive faculty is exhausted, and she produces a being, 
much as a worn-out novelist writes a tale, becuuse she is 
expected to be productive, though she has nothing but 
hackneyed features to produce. Or her face may be said 
to have resembled a modern hymn-tune that is made up of 
strains out of a score of older melodies muddled together, 
and void of individual character. Magdalen had, however, 
not a suspicion that her personal appearance was unattrac 
tive. If she had not been sought in marriage, that was 
due wholly to the inadequate manner in which she had 
been provided for by her father's will ; he had, she held, 
sacrificed her to his ambition to make a rich man of 
Anthony. 

She was a short, shapeless woman, with a muddy com 
plexion and sandy hair, now turning grey, and therefore 
looking as if it were full of dust Her eyes were faded, so 
were the lashes. She had bad teeth, and when she spoke 
she showed them a great deal more than was necessary. 
Any one conversing with her for the first time found noth 
ing in her to notice except these teeth, and earned away 
from the interview no other recollection of her than one 
of teeth. 

She made a point of being well-dressed when she made 
her periodical visits to Hall, to show her consequence, and 
to let her brother see that she held herself in condition 
equal to his pretensions. 

When she learned that her nephew and niece were not 
at Hall, but had gone to the moor for the day to watch the 
fires, and to endeavour to recover some colts that had been 
turned out on it by old Cleverdon, she expressed her satis 
faction to her brother. 

"It is as well, Tony," she said, "for I want to have a 
talk with you ; I am thinking " 

"What? Talk first and think after? That is the usual 
way," said Cleverdon, rudely. 

Magdalen tossed her chin. She did not think it prudent 
to notice and resent her brother's discourtesy. She was 
not likely to gain much by nattering or humouring him ; 
but to quarrel witli him was against her wishes. 

"Really, Tony, I have your interests so much at 
heart " 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 45 

"I never asked you to cupboard them there ; but, if they 
be there, turn the key on them, and let them abide where 
they are." 

" You are clever and witty that every one knows and 
you like to snap your lock under my eyes and make me 
Avince as the sparks fly out ; but I know very well there is 
no powder in the barrel, and I do not mind. You really 
must attend to me, brother. There has been so much 
small-pox about, and it has been so fatal, that upon my 
word, as a woman, you should lend me your ear." 

" What has the small-pox to do with my interests ? " 

" Much. Have you made your will, or a settlement of 
the property ? " 

" What now ! " exclaimed Anthony Cleverdon roughly." 
" You came to scare me with thoughts of small-pox, and 
want me to draw my will, and provide for you ? " 

" About that latter point I say nothing, though I do feel 
that I was ill-treated by my father. You had the kernal 
and I had the rind of the nut." 

"I dispute that altogether. You are an incumbrance 
on the estate that I feel heavily." 

"I am likely to encumber it somewhat longer," said 
Magdalen, not showing resentment at his brutality. " I 
do not fear the small-pox. I have had it, and it has marked 
me ; though not so as to disfigure. The Lord forbid ! " 

Observing that her brother was about to make a remark, 
and being confident that it would be something offensive, 
she hastily went on : " But what, Tony what if it were 
to attack your Anthony ? " Wliat if it were to take him 
off? You have but a single son. To whom would Hall 
go then ? " 

Old Squire Cleverdon started to his feet, and strode, 
muttering, about the room. 

" Ah ! It is a thought to consider. The Knightons have 
lost their heir, and he was a fine and lusty youth. Our 
Anthony is so thoughtless ; he runs where he lists, and does 
not consider that he may be near infection. Please the 
Lord nothing may happen ; but suppose that he were car 
ried off, who would have Hall ? Bessie ? " 

" Bessie ! Are you mad ? " Old Cleverdon put his hands 
in his breeches-pocket and turned and scowled at his 
sister. 



46 URITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" No. I reckon Bessie would be put off with scant treat 
ment, like myself. Then, Luke ? " 

" Luke ! " Oleverdon burst out laughing. " Never a 
parson here in Hall, if I can help it. A shaveling like 
he H 

" Then, who would have it ? " 

" Not you, if you are aiming thereat," said Cleverdon. 

" I was not aiming at that Such a prospect never rose 
before me. I do not want Hall. I could not manage the 
estate. n 

" I shall take care you have not the chance." 

" I have no doubt you will. But consider what are the 
accidents of life. If you were to lose Anthony " 

"But I shall not Anthony is flourishing, and not a 
thought of small-pox, or the falling sickness, or the plague 
about him. He is sound as a bell ; so have done with your 
croak, you raven. I will call up the servants and have in 
dinner. You can eat, I suppose ? " 

" Yes, I can eat, and digest your unkindness ; but I can 
not forget my anxiety. I am considering the welfare of 
the family. I am looking beyond myself and yourself. You 
have raised the Cleverdons from being tenant-farmers into 
being gentlefolks. You have been to the Heralds to grant 
you a coat of arms and a crest, and, now every one calls you 
the Squire, who used to call your father a farmer. You 
have altered Hall into a very handsome mansion, that no 
gentleman of good degree need be ashamed to live in. I 
consider all that, brother, and then I think that you are no 
fool, that you have wonderful wits to have achieved so 
much, and I am only anxious lest after having achieved so 
much for the family and the name of Cleverdon, all should 
go down again, as it did with the Glanvilles just because 
there was no heir male." 

" Have done with your croak here comes dinner." 

During the meal old Anthony was very silent He pulled 
long and often at the tankard, and neglected the courtesies 
due to his sister as a guest She observed that he was 
uneasy, and was wrapped in thought What she had said 
had stuck, and made him uncomfortable. She was too 
shrewd to revert to the topic during dinner, and when it 
was over he went out, and left her alone. She knew her 
brother's ways, his moods, and the turns of his mind, and 



TJRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 47 

was convinced that he would come back to her presently 
and broach anew the subject. 

She leaned back in the arm-chair, and indulged herself 
in a nap. The doze lasted about three-quarters of an hour. 
Whilst she slepb-her brother was walking about the farm, 
in great restlessness of mind and body. He was quick 
witted enough to see that Magdalen was right. He could 
not count on matters not falling out as she had said, and 
then all his labour to build up the Cleverdous would come 
down like a pack of cards. His son was the main prop of 
the great superstructure raised by his pride and ambition. 
If his son, by the dispensation of Providence, were to fail 
him, he had none to sustain the succession save his daughter 
Bessie and his cousin Luke, a delicate, narrow-chested lad, 
who had been an encumbrance thrown on him, had been 
reared by him, and sent to school by him, and then thrust 
into sacred Orders as the simplest way of providing for 
him, and getting him out of the way. Hall to pass to Bessie 
or to Luke ! The idea was most distasteful to him. 

He returned to the oak parlour, where he had left his 
sister, and shook her until she roused from her nap. 

" Sit up gather your senses ! You do not come here 
to sleep like a frog," said old Anthony with his wonted 
rudeness. 

" I beg pardon, brother. I was left alone and had nought 
to occupy my mind, and dozed for a minute." 

"I say to you, Mawdline ! " Squire Cleverdon paced 
the room with his hands knotted behind his back, writhing 
with the inward agitation of his nerves " I tell you Mawd 
line, that you did not come here to scare me about small 
pox without some design lurking behind. Let me hear it. 
You have emptied the pepper-box, now for the salt- 
box" 

"I do not know anything of a design behind," answered 
Magdalen, rallying her scattered senses, and then plunging 
into the main communication with less caution than if she 
had been fully awake ; " but I think, brother, you should 
get them both married as quickly as you may." 

" Both ! what Anthony and Bess ? " 

" To be sure. Anthony might take Julian at any time ; 
and for Bessie " 

Cleverdon laughed. " I never heard that Bessie had a 



48 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

gallant as yet, and she never had good looks to lure one. 
If Tony takes a wife that is sufficient." 

"No, brother, it is hardly sufficient He might, if he 
married, chance to have no children. Besides, it is well to 
have alliances on all sides. If only I had married " 

" Fernando Crymes," muttered her brother. " You tried 
hard for him before he took his first wife." 

Magdalen tossed and shook her head. " You indeed 
misunderstand me. You try to provoke me, brother ; but 
I will not be provoked. I am too desirous to advance the 
family to be browbeat by you and forced to hold silence. 
Elizabeth is getting forward in years, and she might be 
the means of alliance to a good family that would help to 
give ours firmer hold in the position it has won. There 
is Anthony Crymes, for instance." 

" What ! Fox for Bessie ? This is sheer folly." 

" Yes, Fox. What against him ? " 

" Nay, naught other against him, save that he does not 
lay his fancy to Bessie." 

" I am not certain of that. Why else has he rid this 
day to the moor ? He has not gone for love of his sister, 
that all the world knows. Now see this, brother Tony. If 
you was to marry Anthony to Julian, and Bessie to Fox, 
then you would be close allied to one of the best families 
of the countr}--side, and he who would lift a word against 
you would rouse all the Crymes that remain. They were 
not unwilling to draw to us, or else why did Squire Crymes 
bid you to be his son's godfather? Fox will not be rich, 
but he will have something from his father, and that will 
be enough with what you let Bessie have to make them do 
well. Then, if there come a family of children on either 
side, it is well, for there will be a large kindred in the dis 
trict, and if there be none on one side, but only on the 
other then what property there is, this way or that, does 
not fall-out of the family." 

" If Bessie is to be married, we might look elsewhere for 
one richer." 

" Where will you look ? Who among the neighbours is 
old enough or young enough ? Some are over her age. 
You would not give her to Master Solomon Gibbs. Some 
be too young and hot-blooded to care for her, not very 
well favoured, and without much wealth." 



UBITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 49 

Old Anthony stood still before the window and looked out. 

" Then," said Magdalen, " there's another side of the 
matter to be considered. What if Bessie should set her 
heart on some one of whom yoil would not approve ? " 

Old Anthony laughed mockingly. "Not much chance 
of that I reckon." 

" Do you reckon ? " asked his sister, with some heat. 
"Yes, you men make up your minds that we spinsters have 
no hearts, go through no trials, because you do not see 
them. As our love is not proclaimed on the house-tops 
you assume that it does not exist in the secret chambers of 
the heart. If you are forced to admit that there is such a 
thing in us, you suppose it may be killed with ridicule, as 
you put salt on weeds. As for your own headlong, turbu 
lent passions, they brook no control, they are irresistible, but 
we poor women must smother our fires as if always illicit, 
like a chimney in a blaze that must be choked out with damp 
straw stuffed in. You men never consider us. You per 
mit a pretty girl to love, and you consider her feelings 
somewhat just somewhat ; but it never occurs to your 
wise heads, but shallow thoughts, that the plain faces and 
the ordinary-favoured girls may have hearts as tender and 
susceptible as those who are regarded as beauties. Now, 
as to Bessie " 

" Well, what as to Bessie ? " asked Anthony roughly. He 
knew that his sister was lightly lifting the corner of a veil 
that covered her past, and he knew how that by a little 
generosity on his part, he might have made it possible for 
her to marry. 

"As to Bessie? " resumed Magdalen, "I can only speak 
what I suspect. I have thought for some time she was 
fond of her cousin." 

"What of Luke?" 

" Of Luke, certainly." 

Old Anthony turned angrily on her, and said, " A pack 
of folly ! He is her cousin." 

" I said so. Does that prevent her liking him ? Have 
you aught against that?" 

" Everything. I will not hear of her marrying a pigeon- 
breasted, starveling curate. I will speak to her." 

"If you meddle you will mar. Take a woman's advice, 
and say not a word." 
4 



50 URITH: A TALE Of DARTMOOR. 

" Then be silent on this matter." 

" If you marry Tony," said his sister, " what are you go 
ing to do with Elizabeth?. Fernando Crymes has Kil- 
worthy for his Hfe, so that the young people will, I doubt 
not, live here ; and Julian will no more let Bessie remain 
than would your Margaret suffer me." 

" She shall abide here as I choose it" 

"No, indeed. You may will it; but women's wishes, 
when they go contrary, can make a bad storm in the house, 
and spoil it as a port of peace. You take my counsel and 
mate the twain together the one to Julian and the other 
to Fox." 

" Pshaw ! " said the old man turning away from the win 
dow. " Because I was godfather to Fox, it does not follow 
that he wants to be my son." 

Then the old man came over to the table that stood 
near his sister, seated himself, and began to trifle with a 
snuff-box upon it 

"I shall not part with Bess," he said, "till Tony is 
matched." 

" Then let him be matched with speed," said Magdalen 
sharply. " Ho\V know you but that, if you delay, Julian 
Crymes may turn her fancy elsewhere. She is a wayward 
hussy." 

" Pshaw ! Where is there such a hid as my Tony ? He 
is the chiefest of all the youths about Not one can com 
pare with him. Are you mad to think of such a thing ? " 

" There is no reckoning on a maid's eyes ; they do not 
see like ours. Moreover, there is no saying what freak 
might take your Tony, and he might set his mind on some 
one else." 

" No fear of that" answered the squire roughly. " He 
knows ray will, and that is law to him." 

"Indeed! Since when? I thought that the cockerel's 
whimsies and vagaries set the law to the house ; and that 
you, and Bess, and every one of the family danced to such 
tune as he whistled." 

" I reckon he knows his own interests," said the old man 
grimly. He was angered by his sister's opposition. 

" None can trust to that in young men," answered his 
sister, " as you ought best to know, brother." 

Old Anthony winced, and became purple at this allusion 



: A TALE Of 1 DARTMOOR. 51 

to his own marriage. He started up, struck the. snuff-box 
across the table, then seated himself again, and said grim 
ly : "I asked you, sister, if you could eat and digest a good, 
wholesome dinner, and I gave it you ; but, by Heaven, you 
have come here and fed me with unwholesome and unsav 
oury diet that I cannot digest, and that gives me a worry 
and heartburn. I wish you had never come." 



CHAPTER VII. 

IN THE HAEE AND HOUNDS. 

In the tavern with the sign of the Hare and Hounds, a 
fire of peat was burning on the hearth. A huge oak settle 
occupied the side of the fireplace opposite to the window, 
and beneath and before the window was a long table, the 
end of which admitted of being drawn out so as to make 
it serve as a shuffle-board for the use of such as liked to 
play at that game so popular in the reign of Elizabeth, illi 
cit in the time of the Commonwealth, and at the epoch of 
my story almost obsolete, except in stray corners remote 
from fashion. 

The settle was of a construction then usual, now rarely 
met with, and therefore deserving a description as a domes 
tic curiosity. The seat was on hinges, and could be raised, 
disclosing beneath it a cavity like a clothes chest ; the set 
tle back opened in compartments and revealed sides of 
bacon and hams that had been smoked, and there awaited 
cutting up. Above the heads of those who sat in the set 
tle was a sort of pi-ojecting roof to cut off all down draught ; 
but this also served as a cupboard for vinegar, salt, spices, 
and other groceries. The chest, that was also seat, to a 
mother with an infant, was of extraordinary service ; when 
she was engaged at the fire, baking or cooking, she raised 
the lid or seat and buttoned it back, then she planted the 
babe in the box, where it lay warm and secure, close to 
her, without the chance of coming to harm. If the child 
were in the age of toddledum, then it ran up and down in 
the box with the little hands on the edge, saw its mother, 
crowed to her, watched her proceedings, and ran no risk 



52 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

of falling into the fire, or of pulling over and breaking the 
crockery. Altogether the settle was a great institution, 
and the march of culture, instead of improving it, has 
abolished it. More is the pit}'. 

The fireplace was of granite uncarved, but rudely cham 
fered, very wide and very deep, so deep as to allow of a 
seat recessed in the wall at the side, in which a chilly old 
man might sit and toast his knees, protected from the down 
draught and falling soot by the arched roof of the recess. 
It used to be said of one of these great fireplaces, in which 
wood and peat were burned, that a necessary accompani 
ment was an old man and a pair of tongs, for the logs 
when burnt through in the midst fell apart, and required 
some one at hand to pick the ends up, and reverse them on 
the hearth, and to collect and repile the turfs when they 
fell down. At the fire-breast burnt, what was called a 
" spane," that is, a slip of deal steeped in resin, which 
lighted the housewife at her operations at the fire. But 
the " spane " emitted more smoke than light Opposite to 
the ingle-nook was the "cloam" oven, that is, the earthen 
ware oven let into the wall for baking. 

In more ancient times ovens were constructed with en 
ormous labour out of granite blocks, which were scooped 
out in the middle, but the disadvantage attendant on gran 
ite was that it became in time resolved into sand by heat, 
and crumbled away like sugar.* These were rapidly got 
rid of when the earthenware oven was introduced, and 
hardly a specimen remains. Not so, however, with the 
stone frying-pan, which is only just, and not altogether, 
superseded. House\yives contend that the iron pan is not 
so good at frying as the scooped-out pan of stone, and that 
rashers of bacon done in the latter are incomparably su 
perior to those burnt in iron. Thus, it will be seen that in 
the West we are only recently, in some particulars emerg 
ing from the Stone-Age, but it is with a leap over that of 
Bronze into the era of Irou.f 

* Such a granite-oven was discovered in the author's own house 
in an old and long-abandoned chimney-back, in 1866. It was im 
possible to preserve it. 

f Two such stone frying-pans are to be seen in the Museum at 
Launceston. The one was given by a gentleman from his kitchen, 
whore it had been long iu use, the other was found among the ruins 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 53 

The walls of the " mug-house " of the Hare arid Hounds 
were well white-washed and ornamented with a quantity of 
broadside ballads, the illustrations very generally bearing 
no intelligible relation to the letterpress. 

A single rush-candle burning on the table, served to 
light the room. The servant-wench was expected to act as 
snuffer, and she regularly at intervals of ten minutes left 
the work on which she was engaged, cooking, washing, 
drawing ale, and like the comet that sweeps up to and 
about the sun, and then dashes back into obscurity, so did 
she rush up to the candle, snuff the wick between the fore 
finger and thumb, and plunge back to the work on which 
she was engaged, at the fire, in the back-kitchen, or in the 
cellar. 

At the fire and about the table were seated Anthony 
Cleverdon, Fox Crymes, the host of the Hare and Hounds. 
Mr. Solomon Gibbs, also a quaint old grey-haired man in 
sorry garb, and a couple of miners from the moor. 

At the time of the tale, and, indeed for a century after, 
it was customary for men of all classes to meet at the ale 
house, parson and Squire, surgeon, farmer, and peasant, 
comrades all in merry-making and at that period there 
was no social-democracy, no class-hatreds how could there 
be, when all classes met, and gossiped, and smoked, and 
boozed together ? No good thing comes without bringing 
a shadow after it. Perhaps it is well that parson and 
Squire do not now go to the tavern to take pipe and glass 
with yeoman and ploughboy, but the misfortune is that 
there has come class-alienation, along with this social 
amelioration of the better sort. 

Mr. Solomon Gibbs was at the table. He had occupied 
the corner of the settle all the afternoon, searching for his 
niece in the bottom of his tankard, but after a while, as 
evening settled in, he declared he felt the heat too greatly 
by the fire, and then withdrew to the table. In fact, when 
occupying the settle, his can of ale had stood on a three- 
legged stool between his feet, and whenever he lusted after 
a drink he was obliged to stoop to take it up. As the ale 
got into his head, he found that this stooping produced a 

of Trecarrel probably coeval with the buildings, the middle of the 
sixteenth century. 



54 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

fulness of the veins that made him giddy, and he had fallen 
forward once on his hands, and upset the stool and his ale. 
Then he deemed it advisable to retire to the table, but 
as men never give direct and true reasons for their proceed 
ings, he explained to those who were present that 

" There was thunder iu the air, and when there was, he 
was liable to fits of giddiness ; moreover, the heat of the 
fire was insufferable." 

His wig was very much awry ; underneath it was a strong 
stubbly growth, for Mr. Gibbs had not had his head shaved 
for a fortnight. His mulberry coat was much stained with 
ale, and the elbows were gloss}'. 

The old man in the threadbare coat occupied a chair 
near the table, and he stood up, turned his eyes to the 
ceiling, extended his arms rigidly before him, planted his 
legs apart, and began to sing a song at that time exceed 
ingly popular, "The Catholic Cause;" his voice ranging 
through an extensive scale, from bass to falsetto. 

O the Catholic Cause ! now assist me, sweet Muse, 

How earnestly I do desire thee ! 
Faith I will not go pray to St. Bridget to-day, 

But only to thee to inspire me. 

The singer was interrupted by a groan from all in the 
room, and a shout from Mr. Solomon Gibbs, "Calvinist 
Geneva and Hollands for me ! Catholic French Claret is 
thin deuced thin liquor ! " 

Then the Church shall bear sway, the State shall obey, 

Which in England will be a new wonder ! 
Commons, Nobles, and Kings, and Temporal things 

Shall submit, and shall truckle under 1 

The miners jumped to their feet, and began to swear that 
they'd rather be crushed in their adits, than live to see that 
day. 

"Things are coming fair on towards it, sure as the 
clouds have been rolling up, and portending a thunder 
storm," said the host. 

" Ah ! " growled Solomon ; " give the Devil his due. 
Old Noll, who didn't sit by right Divine, knew how to 
make Britain free and honoured." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 65 

"No Dutch in the Medway, then ! No burning of Spit- 
head and His Majesty's fleet under His Majesty's nose," 
said the old singer. 

" "Tis a pity," said one of the men present, " that there 
were not a few more drowned on the Lemon and Ore than 
those who did. Nay, rather, that certain who escaped 
should not have sunk, and such as drowned should not 
have escaped." 

This had reference to a sandbank near Yarmouth, on 
which the frigate bearing the Duke of York had struck, 
when about a hundred and thirty persons were drowned. 

" Here ! " called Sol Gibbs. " Here's bad luck to Lem 
on and Ore for doing the work so foully ! " and he put his 
jug of ale to his lips. 

" Lemon and Ore," said each who drank, "better luck 
next time." 

" Folks do say," put in the landlord, " that the King, 
God bless him, was really married to Lucy Walters. If 
that be so, why then the Duke of Monmouth should be 
King after him." Then he shook his head, and added, 
" But, Lord ! I know nought about such matters." 

" Here's a health to the Protestant Duke ! " said the 
miners, and looked about them. " Now, my masters ! 
Won'ty all drink to the Protestant Duke ? " 

"To be sure I will drink to any one," said Solomon 
Gibbs. 

" Why should he not have married her ? " asked the 
singer. " Didn't the Duke of York marry Mistress Ann 
Hyde ? And Lucy Walters was a gentlewoman every whit 
as much. When the Duke of Monmouth was born, then 
His Majesty was Prince Charles, in France, with small 
chance of coming to his own again ; for Old Noll was then 
in full flower, and making the earth quake at the name of 
England." 

" When the Duke of Savoy was persecuting the Protest 
ants, did not Old Noll hold up his finger, and at the sight 
of his nail the Duke stayed his hands?" said Anthony Clev- 
erdon. "By the Lord ! If it had been in my time, I would 
have drawn the sword for them." 

" When all the giants are dead, every Tom Thumb boasts 
he would have been a Jack of Cornwall," sneered Fox 
Crymes. 



56 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" What is that 3-011 say ? " asked Anthony, hotly. 

" I was merely saying that it ill becomes a man of spirit 
to boast of what he would have done had things been other 
than they are." 

" Do you mean to hint that I am a coward ? " 

"I hinted nothing of the sort I made a general obser 
vation. If the time should come when your sword would 
be wanted to sustain the Protestant cause, I make no doubt 
that you will be ready to prop it up on the point." 

" No quarrels here," shouted Solomon Gibbs ; then he 
sang : 

Let nothing but harmony reign in your breast, 
Let comrade with comrade be ever at rest. 
We'll toss off our bumper, together we 11 troll, 
Give me the punch-ladle I'll fathom the bowL 

Then he called to the united assembly, " What say you all 
shall we have a punch-bowl ? Nem. con. Carried. That 
is it which lacked to establish sweetest concord. Land 
lord ! Bring us the needful, and we'll brew. 

From France cometh brandy, Jamaica gives rum, 
Sweet oranges, lemons from Portugal come. 
Of ale and good cyder we'll also take toll, 
Give me the punch-ladle I'll fathom the bowl. 

The host called to his wife to produce the requisite in 
gredients, and went in quest of the ladle, which he kept 
upstairs, as it had a silver piece of Charles I. let into it 

"I ax," said one of the miners, throwing out his arm as 
if proclaiming defiance, "how it came about that London 
was burnt ? Warn't them Poperies seen a doing of it a 
firing it in several places ? " 

" And Sir Edmoudbury Godfrey weren't he cruelly and 
bloodily murdered by 'em ? " asked the second. 

" Ay ! and whose doing is it that that worthy gentleman, 
my Lord Russell, has been done to death ? That every one 
knows. 'Tis said the Earl of Bedford offered a hundred 
thousand pounds to save his life ; but the Catholic Duke 
would not hear of his being spared. And the Duke of 
York will be King after his present Gracious Majesty. By 
heavens ! I would draw sword for the Protestant Duke and 
swear to his legitimacy." 



URITH: A "TALE OF DARTMOOR. 57 

"I'll tell you what it is," said Fox Crymes, "if this sort 
of talk is going on here, I'm off and away. If you are not 
speaking treason, you go pretty nigh to it, too nigh it for 
safety, and I'll be off." 

" There are no informers and spies here," said the yeo 
man. 

"I reckon us be all true Protestants and loyal to the 
Crown and Constitution. The Constitution ! God bless 
it!" 

" You can't go, Fox," said Anthony, "for here comes the 
storm we have been expecting." He spoke as a flash il 
luminated the room, and was followed by -a boom of near 
thunder, then down came the rain like the fall of a water 
spout on the roof. 

Our brothers lie drowned in the depths of the sea, 
Cold stones for their pillows, what matters to me ? 

Mr. Solomon Gibbs was erect, supporting himself on the 
table by his left hand, whilst he mixed the bowl of punch 
and stirred it, and sang in snatches : 

We'll drink to their healths and repose to each soul, 
Give me the punch ladle I'll fathom the bowl. 

"Now, then, landlord ! Where's the lemons? Bless my 
soul, you're not going to make us drink unlemoned punch? 
As well give us a King without a Crown, or a parson with 
out a gown." 

Your wives they may fluster as much as they please 
Haven't got one, I'm thankful a sister don't count 
Let 'em scold, let 'em grumble, we'll sit at our ease. 
In the ends of our pipes we'll apply a hot coal. 
Give me the punch ladle I'll fathom the bowl. 

So ! the lemons at last ? Where's a silver knife to cut 
them with ? Bless my soul ! How it rains ! I thank 
Providence the water is without, and the spirit is within." 

" This rain will dowse the fires on the moor," said the 
yeoman. 

" And would have washed your Tory zeal out of you," 



58 URITII: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

laughed Anthony, "had you gone out in it just now, 
shocked at our Whiggery." 

" Oh ! you," sneered Fox, " you took good care to say 
nothing. You were wise not to come within seeing dis 
tance with a pair of perspective glasses of Tyburn gallows, 
where men have been hung, disembowelled, and drawn for 
less offence than some of the words let drop to-night" 

"Now no moi'e of this," shouted Mr. Solomon Gibbs, 
" I am president here. Where the punch-bowl is, there is 
a president, and I waive my sceptre, this ladle, and enforce 
abstention from politics, and all such scurvy subjects. 
You began it, Taverner, with your damnable ballad of the 
Catholic cause, and you shall be served last. Comrades ! 
1 To the King, God bless him ! '" 

" And the Protestant cause ! " shouted Taverner. 

" Ay, ay, which His Majesty swore to maintain," said the 
miners. 

" Bar politics ! " cried Mr. Gibbs, "or, curse it, I'll throw 
the punch out of the door. I will, I swear I will. Tav 
erner, give us something cheerful something with no pol 
itics in it to set us all by the ears." 

"Shall I give you something suitable to the evening, 
Mr. Gibbs ? " 

" Certainly tune up. I wish I had my viol with me to 
give a few chords ; but I set out to look for my niece who 
had strayed, and I forgot to take my viol with me." 

The grey-haired ballad -singer stood up, cleared his 
throat, and with the utmost gravity sang, throwing marvel 
lous twirls and accidentals into the tune, the following 
song: 

My Lady hath a sable coach 

And horses, two and four, 
My Lady hath a gaunt bloodhound 

That runneth on before. 
My Lady's coach has nodding plumes, 

The coachman has no head. 
My Lady's face is ashen white, 

As one that long is dead. 

" Now, pray step in," my Lady saith, 

" Now, pray step in and ride ! " 
" I thank thee, I had rather walk, 

Than gather to thy side," 



UEITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 59 

The wheels go round without a sound 

Of tramp or turn of wheels. 
As a cloud at night, in the pale moonlight, 

Onward the carriage steals. 

" Now, pray step in," my Lady saith, 

" Now, prithee, come to me." 
She takes the baby from the crib, 

She sets it on her knee. 
The wheels go round, etc. 

" Now, pray step in," my Lady saith, 

" Now, pray step in, and ride," 
Then deadly pale, in wedding veil, 

She takes to her the bride. 
The wheels go round, etc. 

*' Now, pray step in," my Lady saith, 

" There's room I wot for you." 
She waved her hand, the coach did stand, 

The Squire within she drew. 
The wheels go round, etc. 

" Now, pray step in," my Lady saith, 

'' Why shouldst thou trudge afoot ? " 
She took the gaffer in by her, 

His crutches in the boot. 
The wheels go round, etc. 

I'd rather walk a hundred miles, 

And run by iiight and day, 
Than have that carriage halt for me, 

And hear my Lady say : 
" Now, pray step in, and make no din, 

I prithee come and ride. 
There's room, I trow, by me for you, 

And all the world beside." * 



* Published with the traditional melody in " Songs of the West, 
Traditional Songs and Ballads of the West of England," by S. Bar 
ing-Gould and H. Fleetwood Sheppard (Methuen, Bury Street, Lon 
don, 1889). 



60 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 



CHAPTER 

ST. MAEK'S EVE. 

The ballad of the " Lady's Coach," sung to a weird air 
in an ancient mode, such as was becoming no more usual 
for composers to write in, and already beginning to sound 
strange and incomplete to the ear, at once changed the tenor 
of the thoughts of those in the tavern, and diverted their 
conversation away from politics into a new channel. The 
wind had risen, and was raging round the house, driving 
the rain in slashes against the casement ; and puffing the 
smoke down the chimney into the room. 

" You came back from the moor along the Lyke-Way, 
did you ? " asked the farmer of Anthony. 

" Yes ; it is many miles the shortest, and there was plenty 
of light." 

" I wouldn't travel it at night for many crowns," said the 
yeoman. 

" Why not ! " asked one of the miners. " What is there 
to fear on the moor ? If there be spirits, they hurt no 
one." 

" I should like others to risk it before me," said the yeo 
man. 

" Anthony took good care not to ride it alone," muttered 
Fox, with a side glance at young Cleverdon. 

" You forced yourself on me," answered Anthony, sharply. 

" Of course you wanted to be quite alone I understand," 
sneered Fox. 

" You can comprehend, I hope, that your company is no 
advantage to be greatly desired on the Lyke-Way or else 
where," retorted Anthony, angrily. "It is possible enough 
that it was distasteful to others beside myself." 

" And your society was infinitely preferable. I make no 
questi6n as to that," scoffed Fox. 

"Now, no quarrels here. We have banished politics. 
Must we banish every other topic that arises ? " asked Sol 
omon Gibbs. " What is this that makes you bicker now ? " 

" Oh, nothing ! " said Crymes. "Anthony Cleverdon and 
I were discussing the Lyke-Way, and whether either of us 



UR1TH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 61 

cared to go along it at night. I shrink from it, just as does 
Farmer Cudlip. Nor does Cleverdon seem more disposed 
to walk it." 

"I am not disposed to travel over it in rain and wind, in 
the midst of a thunder-storm. I would go along it any 
other night when moon and stars show, to allow of a man 
finding his road." 

" I'll tell you what," said the yeoman ; " there's worst 
places than the Lyke-Way on such a night as this." 

"Where is that?" 

" Do you know what night it be ? " 

" A very foul one." 

" Ay, no doubt about that ! after a fair day. But this is 
St. Mark's Eve, and I'll tell you what befel my grandfather 
on this night some years agone. 'Twas in Peter Tavy, too 
it came about he'd been to the buryin' of his uncle's 
mother's sister's aunt, and, as he said hisself, never enjoyed 
hisself more at a buryiu'. There was plenty o' saffron cake 
and cyder, and some bottles of real old Jamaica rum, mel 
low Lor' bless you soft and mellow as a cat's paw. He 
lived, did my grandfather, at Horndon, and it were a night 
much such as this. My grandfer had rather a deal stayed 
wi' the corpse, but he was a mighty strict and scrupulous 
old man, and he knowed that his wife my grandmother as 
was would expect him home about well, I can't say for 
sartain, but, anyhow, some hours afore daybreak. Us poor 
fellers in this world o' misery and trial, can't a'ways have 
what we desires, so my grandfer had to sacrifice hisself on 
the alter of dooty, and not to bide with the corpse and the 
Jamaica rum, not to mention the saffron cake. 'Tes sur 
prising, gentlemen," said Farmer Cudlip, looking round at 
Cleverdon, Crymes, and Solomon Gibbs, " 'tes surprising 
now, when you come to reckon up, how soon one comes to 
the end o' eating cake, and yet, in Jamaica rum, and punch 
I thanky' kindly, Mr. Gibbs, to fill me the glass. Thanky', 
sir ! As I was saying, in drink one's capacity is, I should 
say, boundless as the rolling ocean. Ain't it, now, Mr. 
Gibbs ? " 

" Ah ! Solomon the Wise never said a truer word," an 
swered Solomon the Foolish. 

" 'Tes curious, when you come to consider, now," said the 
farmer ; " for meat and drink both goes the same way and 



02 VR1TH: A TALE "OF DARTMOOR. 

into the same receptacle ; yet how soon one is grounded on 
cake, but can float, and float I thank you Mr. Gibbs, my 
glass is empty float forever in liquor." 

" We should like to hear what your grandfather did," 
said Cleverdon, laughing. 

" What he did ? Why, he sot down," said Cudlip. " After 
leaving the house of tears and bereavement, he was going 
home, and was very tired, his legs began to give way under 
him. And as he came along by the wall o' Peter Tavy 
Church, sez he to hisself, 'Why, dash me if it baiu't St 
Mark's Eve, and many a time have I heard tell that they 
as wait on that eve in the church porch is sure to see go by 
in at the door all they that is sure to die in the rest o' the 
year.' Well, gentlemen, my grandfer, he knewed he was a 
bit late, and thought his wife my grandmother wouldn't 
take it over kindly, so he thinks if he could bring her a bit 
of rare news, she'd mebbe forgive him. And, gentlemen, 
what more rare news could he bring than a tale of who 
was doomed to die within the year ? So he went in at the 
churchyard-gate, and straight that is to say, as straight as 
his legs, which weren't quite equal, could take him to the 
porch, and there, on the side away from the wind, he sot 
hisself down." 

" I wouldn't have done it," said one of the miners, nudg 
ing his fellow ; " would thou, Tummas ? " 

" Not I," responded his comrade. " If it had been the 
Lyke-Way, that's different. I'd walk that any night But 
to go under a roof, in the churchyard it were tempting o' 
Providence." 

" Go on with your story," said Solomon Gibbs. " Those 
that interrupt lose a turn of filling from the bowl." 

" Well, then," continued Cudlip, " my grandfather was 
seated for some time in the porch, and uncommon dark it 
was, for there are a plenty of trees in the churchyard, and the 
night was dirty, and the sky covered with clouds. How long 
he sat there I cannot tell, but long enough to get uneasy ; 
not that he was afraid, bless your souls, of what he might 
see, but uneasy at being there so long and seeing nothing, 
so that he must go home to my grandmother without a 
word o' explanation or information that might pacify her, 
should she be inclined to be troublesome. Just as he was 
about to get up, in a mighty bad temper, and to go home, 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 63 

cursing the fools who had got up the tale of St. Mark's 
Eve, why, looking along the avenue in the yard, what 
should he see but some curious long, white things, like 
monstrous worms, crawling and tumbling, and making for 
the church porch. You will understand, gentlemen, that 
my grandfather thought he would do better to wait where 
he was, partly, because he did not wish to pass these worm- 
like creatures, but, chiefly, that he might have something 
to report to his missus, to make her placable and agree 
able." 

"But what where they ?" asked Anthony Cleverdon. 

"I'll tell you, Master Anthony. They was human arms, 
from the shoulder, walking of themselves ; first they laid 
along from shoulder to elbow, then the hand from elbow 
forward lifted itself and looked about, and then came down 
flat on the palm, and lifted all the hinder part from the 
elbow-joint till it stood upright, and then turned a somer 
sault, and so on again, two steps, as it were, and then a 
somersault ; a coorious sort of proceeding, I take it." 

" Very," said Crymes, with a sneer. 

" There was about nine of 'em coming along, some fast 
as if racing each other, some slow, but creeping on, and 
overtaking the others that was going too fast, and fell over 
on the elbow-joint, when up went hand and shoulder kick 
ing in the air like a beetle on his back. My grandfather 
felt that now sartainly he'd have news to tell his old 
woman. Presently a lot of the arms was about the step to 
the church porch, shy-like, not knowing whether to come 
in or no some standing up on the shoulder and poking 
the hands in, some curlin' of themselves up on the step, as 
a-going to sleep, and some staggering about anyways. At 
last one of the boldest of them made a jump, and came 
down on my grandfather's knee, and sat there, with the 
shoulder part on his knee, like as a limpet fastens on a 
rock, or the end of a barnacle on a log of wood, and there it 
sat and curled itself about, and turned the hand just as it 
saw out of the nails which was very white, and served as 
eyes. It was curious, my grandfather said, to see the 
fingers curling one over the other, just as a fly preens its 
wings. My granfer' couldn't make it out at first, till at last 
he saw it was pulling and picking at a gold ring on the 
last finger but one. It was a very broad ring and direct- 



64: ITRITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

ly my granfer' knowed it, and said, ' Why, blazes ! ' said 
he, ' that's Mistress Cake's wedding ring ! ' And no sooner 
had he said that, than the arm jumped off his knee and 
went on to the church door, and he saw it no more. Now, 
it is a fact, gentlemen, that Mistress Cake, of Wringworthy, 
died a month later of the falling sickness. But he had not 
a moment for consideration, as in came another arm, that 
stood at his foot bowing to him with the hand, and then 
patting him on the shin. This arm didn't like to seem to 
make so bold as to come up and sit on his knee, so my 
granfer stooped and looked at it. It stood up on the 
shoulder, and it had very strong muscles ; but rather stiff, 
they seemed, wi' age, for they cracked like when the arm 
bent itself about, which it did in a slow and clumsy 
fashion. 'T\v:xs a brown arm, too, and not white, like 
Madam Cake's ; and the hand was big, and broad, and 
hairy, and it turned itself over and showed the palm, and 
then it held up one finger after another, which was all 
covered with warts. Then my granfer said, ' Lor' bless and 
deliver ! but this be the hand of Ploughman Gale ! ' And, 
sure enough, I reckon it was. It seemed quite satisfied, 
and folded itself up, and made a spring like a cricket 
went out of sight to the church door." 

" I should like to know how your grandfather saw all 
this," snid Anthony Cleverdou, " if it was, as you say, a 
dark night, and it was in the church porch ? " 

" No interfering !" exclaimed Mr. Gibbs. "You've for 
feited. Here's your glass, Master Cudlip. Go on." 

"There's not much more to be said," continued the 
yeoman. "One or two more arms came on, and granfer 
said there was a sight o' difference in their ways : some 
was pushing like, and forward ; and others rayther hung 
back, and seemed to consider small bones of themselves. 
Now it was a fact that all those he saw and named belong 
ed to folks as died within the year, and in the very order 
in which they came on and presented themselves before 
him. What puzzled him most to name was two baby-arms 
purty little things they was and he had to count over 
all the young children in the parish before he could tell 
which they was. At last, up came a long, lean, old, dry 
arm, tossing its hand in a short, quick, touchy fashion, and 
went up on grandfer's knee without so much as a ' By your 



TJRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 65 

leave.' And there it sat, and poked its hand about, wi' all 
the fingers joined together like a pointed serpent's head. 
It moved in a queer, irritable, jerky manner, that was 
familiar, somehow, to my grandfather. After a bit he put 
his head down to look at the elbow, where he fancied he 
saw a mole, when crack ! the hand hit him on his cheek 
such a blow that he tumbled over, and lay sprawling on 
the pavement ; and he knew, by the feel of the hand as it 
caught him, that it was my grandmother's. When he had 
picked himself up, he saw nothing more, so he went home. 
You may be veiy sure of those two tilings, gentlemen 
[Thank you, Mr. Gibbs. I'll trouble you to fill my glass. 
Talking has made me terrible dry] he never told his mis 
sus that Madam Cake's arm had sat on his knee, nor that 
he had seen and recognized her own arm and hand." 

"I wouldn't go on this night to the church porch, not 
for a king's crown," said one of the miners. " Did not 
your grandfather suffer for his visit ? " 

"Well," answered the yeoman, "I. reckon he did ever 
after feel a sort o' cramp in his knees particularly in wet 
weather, where the arms had sat but what was that to the 
relief? My grandmother died that same year." 

" I wouldn't go there for any relief you might name," 
said the miner again, who was greatly impressed by the 
story. "I've heard the pixies hammering down in the 
mines, but I think naught of them. As for the Lyke-Way, 
what goes over that is but shadows." 

"Some folks are afraid of shadows," said Fox, "and 
don't think themselves safe unless they have atT least a 
woman with them for protection." 

"You are again levelling at me!" exclaimed Anthony 
Cleverdon. " I have no fear either of shadows or substan 
ces. If you choose to come out and try with me, you will 
see that I am not afraid of your arm, and that I can chas 
tise your tongue." 

" Oh ! my arm ! " laughed Crymes. "I never supposed 
for a moment you dreaded that. But it is the arms with 
out bodies, moving like worms in the churchyard at Peter 
Tavy, on this St. Mark's Eve, you are more likely to dread." 

"I am not afraid of them," retorted Cleverdon. 

" So you say ; but I do not think you seem inclined to 
show you are not." 
5 



66 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

11 Do you dare me to it ? " 

" I don't care whether you go or not. If you do, who is 
to stand surety for you that you go where I say to the 
churchyard of Peter Tavy ? " 

" One of you can come and see." 

" There !" laughed Fox, " crying off already ! Afraid to 
go alone, and appealing for company." 

" By heaven, this is too bad ! " cried Anthony, and started 
to his feet. 

"Don't go," shouted Mr. Solomon Gibbs. "It's folly, 
and break up of good company." 

" There's good company with Fox Crymes girding at me 
at every minute. But, by heaven, I will not be jeered at 
as a coward. Fox has dared me to go to Peter Tavy 
churchyard, and go I will alone, moreover." 

"No such thing," said the host; "it is too bad a night. 
Stay here and help finish this brew ; we'll have another 
bowl, if Mr. Solomon approves and Mr. Cudlip." 

"I will go," said Anthony, thoroughly roused, and ren 
dered doubly excitable by the punch he had been drinking. 

"You have done wrong to spur him," said Gibbs, ad 
dressing Cryrnes. 

" Faith ! I am a sceptic," said Fox. " I disbelieve alto 
gether in the walking arms, and I shall be glad to learn 
from a credible witness whether the same be a. mere fiction 
and fancy, or have any truth in it. Master Cudlip's grand 
father lived a long time ago." 

"I dq not believe in it either," said Cleverdou ; "but 
although I did I would not now be deterred. Fox casts 
his gibes at me, and I will show him that I have metal 
enough to make such a trifling venture as this." 

He threw on his coat, grasped his long walking-stick, 
and went out into the storm. A furious gale was sweeping 
about the little hamlet of Cudlip town, where stood the 
tavern. It was not possible to determine from which 
quarter the wind came, it so eddied about the inn and the 
open space before it. Anthony stood against the wall out 
side for a moment or two till his eyes accustomed them 
selves somewhat to the dark. Every few moments the 
glare of lightning in the sky illumined the rocky ridges of 
White Tor and Smeardun, under which Cudlip town lay, 
and the twisted thorns and oaks among blocks of granite 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 67 

that strewed the slopes before the three or four old farm 
houses that were clustered about the inn. 

Then Anthony, having satisfied himself as to his direc 
tion, set down his head against the wind, and strode for 
ward, with his staff feeling the way. On his right, below 
in this valley, roared the Tavy, but the song of the water 
was mixed up with that of the wind so inextricably that 
Anthony, had he tried it, could not have distinguished the 
roar of one from that of the other. The lane was between 
stone walls and hedges of half stone and half earth, in 
summer adorned with magnificent foxgloves. For a while 
the rain slackened, and where the walls were high Anthony 
had some shelter against the wind. Peter Tavy Church 
lay outside the village, and he would reach it without pass 
ing another house. 

The principal fury of the storm seemed to be concen 
trated over White Tor, a lofty peak of trap rock fortified 
in prehistoric times, and with beacons and cairns of angu 
lar fragments piled up within the enclosure. In one place 
a huge fang of black rock stood upright, and was split by 
lightning, with a block of basalt fallen into the cleft, where 
it swung among the rocks. Over the cairns and embank 
ments the thunder-cloud flamed white, and threw out daz 
zling fire-bolts. Anthony stood one moment, looking up 
at the Tor ; it was as though the spirits of the air were 
playing at tossball there with thunderbolts. Then he again 
pushed forward. The wind, the cold after the warmth 
of the tavern and the spirits he had drank confused his 
brain, and though he was not intoxicated, yet he was not 
judge of his actions. At the next explosion of the electric 
fluid he saw before him the granite tower of the church, 
and the trees in the churchyard bare of leaves. 

Those in the tavern became grave and silent for a mo 
ment after Anthony left. 

" It is a folly," said one of the miners ; " it is tempting 
heaven." 

" I don't care whether he sees aught or not," said Cudlip ; 
" my grandfather's story is true. It don't follow because 
Anthony Cleverdon comes back having seen nothing that 
my grandfather told an untruth. Who can tell ? perhaps 
nobody in the parish will die this year. If there is to be 
no burials, then no arms will be walking." 



68 URITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"I hope he's not gone the wrong road and tumbled into 
the river," said Solomon Gibbs. 

"I'll tell you what he will do," said Fox. "He will let 
us sit expecting his return all night, and he will quietly 
take himself off to Hall, and laugh at us for our folly to 
morrow." 

"Not he," said the innkeeper ; " that's not the way with 
Master Cleverdon. You. might have done that, and we 
should not ha* been surprised." 

" I would have done it, most assuredly. If Tony does 
not, then he is more of a fool than I took him. He loves 
a bit of brag as much as another, and with brag he went 
forth." 

" There is no brag in him," said Tuverner, the ballad- 
singer. "Everyone knows what Anthony Cleverdon is; 
if he says he will do a thing, he will do it. If we wait long 
enough, he will return from the churchyard." 

" Or say he has been there." 

"If he says it, we will believe him all but you, Mr. 
Crymes, who believe in nobody and nothing." 

"Now, we have had threats of quarrel already more than 
once ; I must stop this," said Solomon Gibbs. " Storm 
outside is sufficient. Let us have calm within over the sea 
of punch." 

" Oh ! " said Fox, contemptuously, " I don't quarrel with 
old Taverner ; no man draws save against his equal." 

" Punch I more punch ! " shouted Gibbs. " Landlord, we 
are come to the gravel. And, Taverner ! give us a song, 
but not one so dismal as ' My Lidy's Coach.' That set us 
about speaking of St. Mark's Eve, and sent Cleverdou on 
this crazy adventure." 

" What shall I sing ? " asked the songman, but he did 
not wait for an answer. He stood up and began : 

Oh 1 the trees they are so high, 

And the trees they are so green ! 
The day is past and gone, sweet love, 
That you and I have seen 

It is cold winter's night 

You and I must bide alone. 
Whilst my pretty lad is young, 
And is growing. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOE. 69 

The door was burst open, and Anthony entered, with 
the water pouring off him. He was blinded with the rain 
that had beat in his face, as he came toward Cudlip's town. 
In his arms he bore something like a log. 

" There ! " said he, and cast this object on the table, 
where it struck and shattered the porcelain punchbowl, 
sending its last contents over the table and the floor. 

" There ! " shouted Anthony, ft will you now believe I 
have been in the churchyard ? " 

"By the Lord ! " shouted Solomon Gibbs, " this is past 
a joke. This is a mortal insult." 

That which Anthony had cast on the table was one of 
the oak posts which marked the head of a grave, square, 
with a sort of nick and knob on the top. Such a post as 
was put up by those who could not afford granite tomb 
stones. 

"It is an insult! It is an outrage !" roared Gibbs, " look 
there ! " He pointed to the inscription on the post it ran 
thus : 

RICHARD MALVINE, 
OF WILLSWORTHY, GENT. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

WILLSWORTHY. 

The night of storm was succeeded by a fresh and spark 
ling morning. The rain hung on every bush, twinkling in 
prismatic colours. There still rose smoke from the moor, 
but the wind had shifted, and it now carried the combined 
steam and smoke away to the east. The surface of Dart 
moor was black, as though bruised all over its skin of fine 
turf. Hardly any gorse bushes were left, and the fire had 
for more than one year robbed the moor of the glory of 
golden blossom that crowned it in May, and of the mantle 
of crimson heath wherewith it was enfolded in July. 

Luke Cleverdon, Curate of Mary Tavy, walked slowly up 
the hill from the bridge over the brawling River Tavy to 
wards Willsworthy. He was a tall, spare young man, with 



70 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

large soft brown eyes, and a pale face. His life had not 
been particularly happy. His parents had died when he 
was young, and old Cleverdon, of Hall, had taken charge of 
the boy in a grumblingly, ungracious fashion, resenting 
the conduct of his brother in dying, and encumbering him 
\vith the care of a delicate child. Luke was older than 
young Anthony, and possibly for a while old Anthony may 
have thought that, in the event of his wife giving him no 
son, Hall and his accumulations would devolve on this frail, 
white-faced, and timid lad. The boy proved to be fond of 
books, and wholly unsuited for farm life. Consequently 
he was sent to school, and then to College, and had been 
ordained by the Bishop of Exeter to the Curacy of Tavy 
St. Peter, or Petery-Tavy, as it was usually called. His 
uncle had never shown him affection, his young cousin, 
Anthony, had been in everything and every way preferred 
before him, and had been suffered to put him aside and 
tyrannise over him at his will. Only in Bessie had he 
found a friend, though hardly an associate, for Bessie's in 
terests were other than those of the studious, thoughtful 
boy. She was a true Martha, caring for all that pertained 
to the good conduct of the house, and Luke had the dreamy 
idealism of Mary. The boy had suffered from contraction 
of the chest, but had grown out of his extreme delicacy in 
the fresh air of the country, and living on the abundant 
and wholesome food provided in a farm. His great passion 
was for the past. He had so little to charm him in the 
present, and no pursuit unfolding before him in the future, 
that he had been thrown as a lad to live in the past, to 
make the episodes of history his hunting fields. Fortu 
nately for him, Dartmoor was strewn with prehistoric anti 
quities ; upright stones ranged in avenues, in some in 
stances extending for miles, with mysterious circles of 
unhewn blocks, and with cairns and kistvaens, or stone 
coffins, constructed of rude slabs of granite. Among these 
he wandered, imagining strange things, peopling the soli 
tude, and dreaming of the Druids who, he supposed, had 
solemnised their ritual in these rude temples. 

Old Cleverdon was angered with the pursuits of his 
nephew. He utterly despised any pursuit which did not 
lead to money, and archaeology was one which might, and 
often did, prove expensive, but was not remunerative from 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 71 

a pecuniary point of view. As soon as ever Luke was 
ordained and established in a curacy, the old man con 
sidered that his obligation towards him had ceased, and he 
left the poor young man to sustain himself on the miser 
able salary that was paid him by his non-resident Rector. 
But Luke's requirements were small, and his only grief at 
the smallness of his stipend was that it obliged him to 
forego the purchase of books. 

He was on his way to "Willsworthy, four miles from the 
parish church, at the extreme end of the parish, to pay a 
pastoral visit to Mistress Malvine, who was an invalid. 
Before reaching the house he came to a ruined chapel, that 
had not been used since the Reformation, and there he 
suddenly lighted upon Urith. 

His pale face flushed slightly. She was seated en a mass 
of fallen wall, with her hands in her lap, occupied with her 
thoughts. To her surprise, on her return late on the 
preceding night, before the breaking of the storm, her 
mother had not followed her accustomed practice of cover 
ing her with reproaches ; and this had somewhat discon 
certed Urith. Mrs. Malvine was a woman of not much 
intelligence, very self-centred, and occupied with her ail 
ments. She had a knack of finding fault with every one, 
of seeing the demerits of all with whom she had to do ; and 
she was not slow in expressing what she thought. Nor 
had she the tact to say what she thought and felt, and have 
done with it, she went on nagging, aggravating, exaggerate 
ing, and raking up petty wrongs or errors of judgment 
into mountains of misdemeanour, so that when at one 
moment she reproved such as had acted wrongly, she in 
variably in the next reversed positions, for she rebuked 
with such extravagance, and enlarged on the fault with 
such exaggeration as to move the innate sense of proportion 
and equity in the soul of the condemned, and to rouse the 
consciousness of injustice in the accused. 

Such a scene had taken place the previous day, when 
her mother, aided by the blundering Uncle Solomon, had 
driven Urith into one of her fits of passion, in which she 
had run away. When Mistress Malvine discovered what 
she had done that she had actually pressed her child 
beyond endurance, and that the girl had run to the wil 
derness, where she could no more be traced, when the day 



72 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

and evening passed without her return, the sick woman 
became seriously alarmed, and faintly conscious that she 
had transgressed due bounds in the reprimand adminis 
tered to Urith for rejecting the suit of Anthony Crymes. 
Consequently, when finally the girl did reappear, her mo 
ther controlled herself, and contented herself with inquir 
ing where she had been. 

Luke Cleverdon knew Urith better than did his cousins ; 
in his rambles on the moor, as a boy. he had often come 
this way, and had frequently had Urith as his companion. 
The friendship begun in childhood continued between them 
now that he was curate in charge of souls, and she was 
growing into full bloom of girlhood. 

He now halted, leaning both his hands on his stick, and 
spoke to her, and asked after her mother. 

Urith rose to accompany him to the house. "She is 
worse ; I fear I have caused her trouble and distress of 
mind. I ran away from home yestei-day, and might have 
been lost on the moor, had not " she hesitated, her cheek 
assumed a darker tiuge, and she said " had not I fortu 
nately been guided aright to reach home." 

"That is well," said Luke. "We are all liable thus to 
stray, and well for us when we find a sure guide, and fol 
low him." 

For a young man he was gaunt. He was dressed in 
scrupulously correct clerical costume, a cassock and knee- 
breeches, white bands, and a three-cornered hat. 

Urith spoke about the fire on the moor, the bewilder 
ment caused by the smoke, and then of the storm during 
the night. He stood listening to her and looking at her ; 
it seemed to him that he had not before properly appreci 
ated her beauty. He had wondered at her strange temper 
now frank, then sullen and reserved ; he did not know 
the reason why this was now for the first time revealed to 
him it was because in the night a change had taken place 
in the girl, for the first time she had felt the breath of that 
spirit of love which like magic wakes up the sleeping 
charms of soul and face, gives them expression and sig 
nificance. Not, however, now for the first time did the 
thought cross his mind that, of all women in the world, 
she was the only one he could and did love. He had 
long loved her, loved her deeply, but hopelessly, and had 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 1& 

fought many a hard battle with himself to conquer a pas 
sion which his judgment told him must be subdued. He 
knew the girl wild, sullen, undisciplined the last to 
mould into the proper mate for a village pastor. More 
over, what was he but a poor curate, without interest with 
patrons, without means of his own, likely, as far as he 
could judge, to live and die, a curate. He knew not only 
that Urith was not calculated to make a pastor's wife, but 
he knew also that hers was not a character that could con 
sort with his. He was studious, meek, yet firm in his 
principles ; she was hardly tame, of ungovernable temper, 
and a creature of impulse. No, they could not be happy 
together even were circumstances to allow of his marry 
ing. He had said all this to himself a thousand times, yet 
he could not conquer his passion. He held it in control, 
and Urith, least of all, had a notion of its existence. She 
exercised on him that magic that is exercised on one char 
acter by another the reverse at every point. The cairn, 
self-ruled, in-wrapped nature of Luke looked out at the 
turbulence or the moroseness of the wild girl with admira 
tion mingled with fear. It exercised over him an inexpli 
cable but overpowering spell. He knew she was not for 
him, and yet that she should ever belong to another was a 
thought that he could not bear to entertain. He walked at 
her side to the house listening to her, but hardly knowing 
what she said. The glamour of her presence was on him, 
and he walked as in a cloud of light, that dazzled his eyes 
and confused his mind. 

"Willsworthy was a very small and quaint old manor house 
so small that a modern farmer would despise it. It con 
sisted of a hall and a couple of sitting-rooms and kitchen 
on the ground floor, with a projecting porch, with pavise 
over it. The windows looked into the little court that was 
entered through old granite gates, capped with balls, and 
was backed by a cluster of bold sycamores and beech, in 
which was a large rookery. 

Mrs. Malvine was in the hall. She had been brought 
down. She was unable to walk, and she sat in her arm 
chair by the hearth. The narrow mullioned lights did not 
afford much prospect, and what they did reveal was only 
the courtyard and stables that fronted the entrance to the 
house. To the back of the house was, indeed, a walled gar- 



74 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

den ; but it was void of flowers and suffered from the neg 
lect which allowed everything about Willswortby to siuk 
into disrepair and barrenness. It grew a few pot-herbs, 
half-choked by weeds. There was no gardener kept ; but 
a labourer, when he could be spared off the farm, did some 
thing in a desultory fashion to the garden always too late 
to be of use to it. 

" Peace be to this house ! " said Luke, and passed in at 
the door. 

He found that, for all his good wish, nothing at the mo 
ment was farther removed from Willsworthy, than peace, 
Solomon Gibbs had slept long and heavily after his carouse, 
and had but just come down the stairs, and had just acted 
the inconsiderate part of telling his sister of the outrage 
committed by Anthony Cleverdon on her husband's grave. 
The poor widow was in an hysterical condition of efferves 
cent wrath and lamentation. 

The story was repeated, when Luke and Urith appeared, 
in a broken, incoherent fashion the widow telling what 
she knew, with additions of her own, Solomon throwing in 
corrections. 

Urith turned chill in all her veins. Her heart stood still, 
and she stood looking at her uncle with stony eyes. 
Anthony Cleverdon, who had behaved to her with such 
kindness Anthony, who had held her in his arms, had 
carried her through the fire, who had looked into her 
face with such warmth in his eyes he thus insult her 
father's name and her family ! It was impossible, incredi 
ble. 

Luke paced the little hall with his arms folded behind 
his back. He had heard nothing of this at Peter Tavy 
when he left it. He hoped there was some mistake some 
exaggeration. What could have been Anthony's object? 
Mr. Solomon Gibbs's account was certainly sufficiently in 
volved and obscure to allow of the suspicion that there was 
exaggeration, for Mr. Solomon's recollection of the events 
was clouded by the punch imbibed overnight. But the fact 
that the headpiece of the grave had been brought to the 
tavern by his cousin could not be got over. Luke's heart 
was filled with commiseration for the distress of the widow, 
and pain for Urith, and with bitterness against Anthony. 
He had nothing but platitudes to say nothing that could 



URITH: A TALE Of DARTMOOR. 75 

pacify the excited woman, who went from one convulsion 
into another. 

Suddenly the door was thrust open, and in, without a 
knock, without permission, carne Anthony himself the first 
time he had crossed that threshold. 

Urith's arms fell to her side, and her fists became clenched. 
How dare he appear before them, after having committed 
such an offence ? Mistress Malvine held up her hands be 
fore her face to hide the sight of him from her eyes. 

" I have come," said Anthony, " I have come because 
of that bit of tomfoolery last night." 

Luke saw that his cousin was approaching the widow, 
and he stepped between them. " For shame of you, 
'Tony ! " he said, in quivering voice. " You ought never to 
show your face after what has been done at all events 
here." 

"Get aside," answered Anthony roughly, and thrust him 
out of the way. 

"Madame Malvine," said he, planting himself before the 
hysterical widow, " listen to me. I am very sorry and 
ashamed for what I did. It was in utter ignorance. I w&s 
dared to go to the churchyard last night when the ghosts 
walk, and Fox said no one would believe me that I had 
been there unless I brought back some token. We had all 
been drinking. The night was pitch-dark. I got up the 
avenue under the trees, and pulled up the stake nearest to 
the church porch I could feel. Whose it was, as Heaven 
is my witness, I did not know. I was wrong in doing it ; 
but I was dared to do something of the kind." 

" You must have known that my brother-in-law lay on 
the right-hand side of the porch," said Solomon Gibbs. 

" How should I know ? " retorted Anthony. " I am not 
sexton, to tell where every one lies. And on such a pitch- 
black night too, I could find my way only by feeling." 

" Your offence," said Luke, sternly, " is not against this 
family only, but against God. You have been guilty of 
sacrilege." 

" I will ask you not to interfere," answered Anthony. 
" With God I will settle the matter in my own conscience. 
I am come here to beg forgiveness of Mistress Malvine and 
of Urith." 

He turned sharply round to the latter, and spoke with a 



76 URITff: A TALK Of DARTMOOR. 

deep flush in his cheek, and with outstretched arm. 
" Urith ! you will believe me ! You will forgive me ! TVith 
my best heart's blood I would wipe out the offence. I 
never, never dreamed of injuring and paining you. It was 
a misadventure, and my cursed folly in sitting diinking at 
the Hare and Hounds, and of allowing myself to be taunted 
to a mad act by Fox Cryines, who is my evil genius." 

" It was Fox Crymes who urged you to do it ? " asked 
Urith, her rigidity ceasing, and the colour returning to her 
cheeks and lips. 

" He goaded me to the act, but he had nothing to do 
with my bringing your father's headpiece to the tavern 
that was the devil's own witchcraft" 

" Mother," said Urith, " do you hear ; it was Fox Crymes's 
doing. On him the blame falls." 

" You believe me, Urith I know you must ! You know 
I would not injure you, offend you, grieve you in any way. 
You must know that, Urith you do in your heart know it; 
assure your mother of that. Here, give me your hand in 
pledge that you believe that you forgive me." 

She gave it him at once. 

"Now see, Mistress Malvine, Urith is my testimony- - 
Good God ! what is the matter? " 

Mrs. Malvine had fallen back in her chair, and was 
speechless. 



CHAPTER X. 

LtTKB CLEVERDON. 

Luke Cleverdon left the house. He could no longer en 
dure to remain in it. He saw the flash in Urith's eye as 
she put her hand in that of Anthony in answer to his ap 
peal. He had seen sufficient to shake and wring his heart 
with inexpressible pain. He walked hastily down the hill, 
but stopped at the ruined chapel, and entered there. The 
old broken altar lay there, one of its supports fallen. Luke 
seated himself on a block of granite, and rested his arm 
against the altar-slab, and laid his head on his arm. That 
he had long loved Urith he knew but too well for his peace 
of mind, but never before had his passion for her so flamed 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 77 

up as at that moment when she took his cousin's hand. 
"What had occurred on the previous day on the moor was re 
peated again ; a smouldering fire had suddenly caught a 
great tuft or bush, almost a tree, of gorse, and had mounted 
in a pillar of flame. 

Was Anthony in all things to be preferred to him ? In 
the house at Hall, Luke had submitted without demur to 
be set aside on all occasions, for Anthony was the son, and 
Luke but the nephew, of the old man ; Hall would one day 
be the inheritance of Anthony, and in Hall the son of old 
Anthony's brother had no portion. But now that he had 
left his uncle's house, now that he was independent, was 
Anthony still to stand in his way, to lay his hand on and 
claim the one flower that Luke loved, but which he dared 
not put forth his hand to pluck? 

Timid and humble-minded as Luke was, he had never 
considered that he could win the affections of any girl, least 
ways of one such as Urith. But it was a delight to him to 
see her, to watch the unfolding of her mind, and character, 
and beauty, to know that she was a wild moor-flower, re 
garded by no one else but himself, sought by none, or, if 
sought, rejecting such seekers with disdain. He was so 
simple and single in his aims, that it would have well con 
tented him to merely admire and humbly love Urith, never 
revealing the state of his heart, asking of her nothing but 
friendship and regard. But when, all at once, he saw 
another stand beside her, take her hand, and seize on her 
heart with bold temerity, and by his boldness win it that 
was too much for Luke to endure without infinite pain, 
and a battle with himself. If he had formed any ideal pict 
ure of the future, it was the harmless one of himself as the 
fi'iend, the gentle, unassuming, unasserting friend of Urith, 
suffered by her, after some little resistance, to divert her 
headlong character, brighten the gloomy depths of her 
strange mind. He knew how greatly she needed an ad 
viser and guide, and his highest ambition was so to help 
her that she might become a noble and generous woman. 
That he had not formed this hope out of pure pastoral zeal 
he knew, for he who taught others to search their own 
consciences, not lightly, and after the manner of dissem 
blers with God, had explored his own heart, and measured all 
its forces ; but till this moment he had never realized that 



78 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

there was a selfishness and jealousy in his love, a selfishness 
which would have kept back Urith from knowing and bv- 
ing anyone, and a jealousy intense and bitter against the 
man who obtained that place in Urith's heart to which he 
himself laid no claim, but which he hoped would be forever 
empty. 

He tried to pray, but was unable to do more than move 
his lips and form words. Prayers did not appease the ar 
dor, lessen the anguish within. As he looked up at the 
moor he saw now that it was still smoking. The storm of 
rain in the night had not quenched the fires, nor could the 
dews of Divine consolation put out that which blazed within 
his breast. 

He had never envied Anthony till now. When he had 
been at school, he had been but scantily furnished with 
pocket-money. There had been many little things he would 
have liked to buy, but could not, having so small a sum at 
his disposal ; on the other hand, Anthony could at all times 
command his father's purse, had spent money as he liked, 
had wasted it wantonly, but Luke had accepted the differ 
ence with which they had been treated without resentment ; 
yet, now that Anthony had stepped in between him and 
Urith, something very much like hatred formed like gall 
in his heart. 

He tried to think that he was angry with his cousin for 
having given Mistress Mai vine pain, with having been 
guilty of sacrilege, but he was too truthful in his dealings 
with himself to admit that these were the springs of the 
bitterness within. 

Suddenly he looked up with a start, and saw Bessie be 
fore him, observing him with sympathetic distress. His 
pale forehead was covered with sweat-drops, and his long, 
thin hands were trembling. They had been clasped, the 
one on the other, on the altar-stone, and Luke's brow had 
rested on them, his face downward ; thus he had not seen 
Bessie when she approached. 

" What is it, Luke ? " she said, in kindly tones, full of 
commiseration. " Are you ill, dear cousin ? " 

He looked at her somewhat vacantly for a moment, gath 
ering his senses together. As in bodily pain, after a par 
oxysm, the mind remains distraught for a moment, and is 
unable to throw itself outward, so it is with mental pain 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 79 

to an even greater degree. As Bessie spoke, Luke seemed 
to be brought, or to bring himself, by an effort, out of a 
far-off world into that in which Bessie stood surrounded 
by the old chapel walls, hung with hartstongue leaves, still 
green, untouched by winter frost. 

" What are you suffering from ? " she asked, and seated 
herself at his side. 

"It is nothing, cousin," he answered, and shook his head 
to shake away the thoughts that had held him. 

" It is indeed something," she said, gently ; " I know it 
is ; I see it in your white and streaming face." She took 
his hand in hers. "I know it from your cold hand. Luke, 
you have had no one but me to talk to of your troubles in 
boyhood, and I had none but you to tell of my little girlish 
vexations. Shall we be the same now, and confide in each 
other?" 

O, false Bessie ! knowing she was false, as she said this. 
The keen eye of her Aunt Magdalen had seen what Bessie 
supposed was hidden from every one, that she loved her 
cousin Luke. But to Luke would that secret assuredly 
never be entrusted. It was to be a one-sided confidence. 

" Are you ill ? Are you in bodily pain ? " she asked. 

He shook his head not now to shake away thought, 
but in negative. He passed his disengaged hand .and 
sleeve over his brow, and was at once composed. "I am 
sorry you saw me like this, Bessie. I thought no one 
would come in here." 

"I have come to see Urith, after last night. I promised 
her I would come some time, and I thought that I would 
ask if she were quite well, for the day was to her long and 
trying." 

" Do not go on there now," said Luke gently, releasing 
his hand. "There has something happened. You have 
not heard, but it will be noised everywhere shortly, and 
the shock has been too much for Mistress Mai vine ; she 
has fallen into a fit." 

"Then I had better go on, cousin ; I may be of help to 
Urith." 

" You have not heard " Then he told her of what 

Anthony had done the preceding night. Bessie was greatly 
disturbed ; the act was so profane, and so inconsiderate. 
The inconsiderateness might, indeed, partially excuse the 



80 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

act, but hardly redeem it from sacrilege, and was certain 
to arouse general and deep indignation ; the inconsiderate- 
ness showed an unbalanced mind, wantiug in ordinary re 
gard for the feeliugs of others. 

"And yet," said Elizabeth, "this is not what has made 
you so unhappy. You have not told uie all." 

Luke remained silent, looking before him. "Bessie," 
said he, " has it never been observed by you that Anthony 
had an affection for Urith ? " 

'"Never," answered Elizabeth ; "I do not see how there 
could have sprung up such a liking. They hardly ever can 
have spoken to each other before yesterday, though they 
may have met ; as, for instance, seen each other in church. 
I never heard Anthony name her." 

" He does not tell you what he has in his heart" 

" I did not believe that he had any particular regard for 
any one. He has not been a person to seek the company 
of young maidens ; he has affected to utterly scorn them, 
and has held himself aloof from their company." 

" I think I am sure that he likes her," said Luke slowly. 

Then Bessie turned her face and looked at him steadily. 

" Oh, Luke ! Luke ! " she exclaimed, and there was pain 
in her tone. " I have read your heart Now I know all." 
And now that she had discovered his secret, Luke was 
glad to be able to pour out his heart into her sympathetic 
ear, to tell her how that he did love Urith, but also how 
that he had never dreamed of making her his wife. 

" My wife ! " said he, with a sad smile ; " that is not a 
name I shall ever be able to give to any woman. It is not 
one that any woman would care for me to call her by." 

Bessie listened as he talked, without a sign in her face 
of other emotion than pity for him. Not in the slightest 
did she raise a fold of the veil that concealed her heart, the 
rather did she wrap it round her the more closely. 

After a while Luke rose relieved. He took Bessie's hand 
in his, and said, " Now, dear cousin, you must make me a 
promise. When you have any trouble at heart, you will 
come and tell me." She pressed his hand and raised her 
eyes timidly to his, but made no other answer. 

They walked together down the hill, and then, at the 
bridge, parted. When they parted, Bessie's eyes filled 
with tears. 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 81 

But the heart of Luke was relieved, and he walked 
homewards encouraged to fight out the battle with hirn 
self, and overcome the jealousy with which he began to re 
gard his cousin Anthony. 



CHAPTEK XL 

THE GLOVES AGAIN. 

Anthony remained at Willsworthy. He had behaved 
exceedingly badly, had wounded the good lady of the 
house where most susceptible to pain, and so acutely that 
she had fallen into unconsciousness ; yet he remained on. 
He was accustomed to consult his own wishes, not those of 
others, and to put on one side all considerations of ex 
pediency and good feeling, where his own caprice was con 
cerned. 

Urith and the servant wench had carried Madame Mai- 
vine to her room, and Solomon Gibbs had dashed off to 
the stables to get his horse, so as to summon the surgeon 
from Tavistock. 

Anthony was alone in the little hall, and he leaned his 
elbows on the window-sill and looked out. There was 
nothing for him to see ; nothing to interest him in the 
barn wall opposite, which was all that was commanded by 
the window ; so he turned his eyes on a peacock butterfly 
that had hybernated in the hall, and now, with return of 
spring, shook off sleep and fluttered against the leaded 
panes, bruising its wings in its efforts to escape into the 
outer air. There were no flowers in the window ; nothing 
at all save some dead flies and a pair of lady's riding- 
gloves folded together. 

Anthony looked round the hall. It was low, not above 
seven feet high, unceiled, with black oak unmoulded 
rafters. There was a large granite fireplace, no sculptured 
oak mantelpiece over it ; nothing save a plain shelf ; and 
above it some arms, a couple of pistols, a sword, a pike or 
two, and a crossbow. The walls were not panelled save 
only by the window, where was the table, and where the 
family dined. The walls elsewhere were plainly white- 
6 



82 URITH- A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

washed, and had not even that decoration that was affected 
at the tavern ballads with quaint woodcuts pasted against 
them. There was no deer park attached to the house ; 
there never had been even a paddock for deer, consequently 
there were no antlers in the hall. 

Near the window was a recess in the wall over a granite 
pan or bowl partly built into the wall. At first sight it 
might be taken as a basin in which to wash the hands ; 
but it had no pipe from it to convey the fouled water 
away. Such pans are found in many old western farm 
houses and manor halls, and their purport is almost for 
gotten. They were formerly employed for the scalding of 
the milk and the making of clouted cream. Red-hot char 
coal was placed in these basins, and the pans of milk 
planted on the cinders. The pans remained there, the 
coals being fanned by the kitchen maid, till the cream was 
formed on the surface, and in this cream-coat the ring of 
the bottom of the pan indicated itself on the surface. This 
was the token that the milk had yielded up all its quo 
tient of fatty matter. Thereupon the pan was removed to 
the cool dairy. The presence of the granite cream-pro 
ducer showed that the hall served a double purpose : it 
was not only a sitting- and dining-room, but one in which 
some of the dairy processes were carried on. Moreover, 
near the entrance-door was what was called the " well- 
room," entered from the hall. This was a small lean-to 
apartment on one side of the porch, paved with cobble 
stones, in which was a stone trough always brimming with 
crystal moorland water, conducted into it from outside, 
and, running off, was carried away outside again. As this 
was the sole source whence all the water-supply required 
for the house was obtained for daily, for kitchen, and for 
table it may be imagined that the hall was a passage- 
room, traversed all day long by the servant-wenches with 
pails, and pans, and jugs. 

Such an arrangement was suitable enough in the time 
before the Wars of the Roses, when Willsworthy was built ; 
but its inconvenience became apparent with the improved 
social conditions of the Tudor reigns, and in the time of 
Elizabeth an addition had been made to the house, so that 
it now possessed two small parlours looking into the garden 
at the back ; but these Anthony had not seen. In these 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 83 

some attempt was made at ornament. A manor house 
before the Tudor epoch rarely consisted of more than a 
hall, a lady's bower, kitchen, and cellars, on the ground- 
floor ; Willsworthy had been enlarged by the addition of a 
second parlour, with the object of abandoning the Hall, to 
become a sort of second kitchen. 

But the family had been poor, and continued in its an 
cestral mode of life. The second parlour had its shutters 
shut, and was never used, and Madame Malvine sat, as had 
her husband, and the owners of Willsworthy before them, 
in the Hall, and endured the traffic through it, and 'the 
slops on the stone floor from the overflowing pails. 

The paving of the Hall was of granite blocks, rudely 
fitted together, and was strewn with dry brown bracken. 
We marvel at the discomfort of ancient chairs, because the 
seats are so high from the ground. We forget that the 
footstool was an attendant inseparable from the chair, when 
ladies sat in these stone-floored halls. They were necessary 
adjuncts, holding their feet out of the draught, and off the 
stone. 

Small and mean as the manor house would appear in 
one's eyes now, yet it was of sufficient consequence in early 
days to have its chapel, a privilege only accorded to the 
greater houses, and wealthiest gentry. The chapel was 
now in ruins. It had not been used since the Reformation. 

Anthony became impatient of waiting. He would not 
leave, and he was vexed, because he was kept loitering at 
the window without some one to speak to. 

He was tired of looking at the butterfly battering its 
wings to pieces, so he took up the gloves and unrolled 
them a pretty pair of fine leather ladies' gloves, reaching 
to the elbow, and laced with silk ribbon and silver tags. 
Elegant gloves; more handsome, Anthony thought, than 
suited the usual style of Urith's dress. He had nothing 
else to do but turn them inside out, unfold, and refold 
them. 

As he was thus engaged, he thought over an interview- he 
had had that morning with his father. With all his faults, 
and they were many, the young man was open and direct, 
and he had told his father what he had done the night 
before. 

To his surprise, directly old Cleverdon heard that he had 



84 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

pulled up Richard Malvine's head-post, and thrown it on 
the tavern table before the topers, he burst into an exultant 
laugh, and rubbed his hands together gleefully. 

When, moreover, Anthony expressed his intention of go 
ing to Willsworthy to offer an apology, the old man had ve 
hemently and boisterously dissuaded him from so doing. 

" What are the Mai vines ?" he had said ; " a raggle-taggle, 
beggarly crew. I won't have it said that a son of mine 
veiled his bonnet to them. That was a fair estate once, but 
first one portion and then another portion has been sold 
away, and now there is but enough to starve on left. 
Pshaw ! let them endure and pocket the affront If they 
1ry to resent it, and prosecute you in court of law, I will 
throw in my money-bag against their moleskin purse, and 
see which cause then has most weight in the scales of 
justice." 

The intemperance of his father's conduct and words had 
on young Anthony precisely the opposite effect to that in 
tended. It opened the young man's eyes to the gravity of 
his conduct. Without answering his father he went to 
Willsworthy, leaving the old man satisfied that he had 
overborne his son's resolution to make amend for his of 
fence. Whether this would have happened had not Urith 
produced so strong an impression on his heart the previous 
day, and enlisted him on her side, may well be questioned; 
for the visit of apology involved an acknowledgment of 
wrong-doing which was not readily made by Anthony. He 
was thinking over, and wondering at, his father's conduct, 
when Urith entered the hall, and expressed surprise at see 
ing him. 

"I tarried," said he, "to know how it fared with -your 
mother." 

Urith replied, somewhat stiffly, " The shock of hearing 
what you have done has given her a fit." 

" She has had them before." 

" Oh, yes. She cannot endure violent emotion, and your 
behaviour " 

" I have said I am sorry ; what can I do more? Tell me, 
and I will do it The stake was rotten, and broke off. If 
you will, I will have a stone slab placed on the grave at my 
own cost." 

Urith flushed dark. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 85 

" That I refuse in my mother's name and in mine. We 
will not be beholden to you to any stranger in such 
a matter ; and after what has been done, certainly not to 
you." 

Anthony stamped with impatience. 

"I have told you I am sorry. I never made an apology 
to any one in iny life before. I supposed that an apology 
offered was at once frankly accepted. I have told you it 
was all a mistake. I intended no ill. It was a pitch-black 
night I could not see what I laid hold of. My act was, 
if you will, an act of folly but have you never committed 
acts of folly ? You ran away from home yesterday. Did 
not that trouble your mother, and occasion greater per 
turbation of feeling? " 

Urith looked clown. "Yes," she said, "one foolery fol 
lowed another. First came mine, then yours. The two 
combined were too much for my mother to endure." 

"We are a couple of fools; be it so," said Anthony. 
" Now that is settled. Youn,^ folks' brains are not ripened, 
but are like the pith in early hazel nuts. It is not their 
fault if they act foolishly. That is settled. You believed 
my account. I never lie, though I be a fool." 

" Yes, I have accepted your account, and I, in part, for 
give you." 

" In part ! By Heaven, that is a motley forgiveness a 
fool's forgiveness. I must have a complete one. Come 
here. Come to this window. Why should I shout across 
the hall to you, and you stand with your back turned to 
me, as though we were on opposite sides of the Cleave ? " 
He spoke with as much imperiousness as if he were in his 
own house, commanded her as though he expected of her 
as ready submission as was accorded him by his sister. 

" What do you want with me ? I do not care to go near 
a man subject to such outbreaks of folly." 

" You are one to declaim ! " said Anthony, scornfully. 
" You who run away, and bite your knuckles till they are 
raw." 

Urith's brow dai-kened. " You might have spared me 
that taunt," she said ; " you would have done so had you 
been generous." 

"Come over here," commanded Anthony. "How can I 
measure my words when I have to throw them at you from 



86 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

a furlong off? It is like a game of quoits when one has 
not strict the distance, and knows not what force to em- 
ploy." 

Urith without further demur came to him. This was a 
new experience to her to be addressed in tones of com 
mand ; her mother scolded and found fault, and gave, in 
deed, orders which she countermanded next moment, so 
that Urith had grown up with the habit of following her 
own desires, and disregarding the contradictory or impos 
sible injunctions laid on her. 

"Come here, Urith," said Anthony ; "I do not see why 
we have been such strangers heretofore. Why do you never 
come to Hall ? " 

" Because Hall has never come to Willsworthy." 

" But my sister ; you would like Bessie I am sure of 
that." 

" I like her now." 

" Then you will come and see her at Hall ? " 

" When she has first been to see me, and has asked me 
to return the visit." 

" She shall do that at once." 

" She has promised to come here. She was very kind 
to me last night." 

" She is a good creature," said Anthony, condescendingly. 

" And no fool," threw in Urith. 

" I don't say she is clever, but what brains she has are 
full ripe. She is considerably older than I am." 

To this Urith made no response. 

Then Anthony took up the gloves, drew them out, and 
passed them under the ribbon of his hat. 

" I was your true knight yesterday, achieving your de 
liverance, and every true knight must wear either his lady's 
colours or some pledge to show that she has accepted him 
as her knight. That, I have heard say, is how some crests 
wore given or taken. Now I have assumed mine your 
gloves. I take them as my right, and shall wear them in 
your name." 

"They are not mine," said Urith ; "you will do me a 
favour if you will take them for me to her to whom they 
of right belong, and say that I retura them to her. She 
lost them last night, and I found them. I never go near 
Kilworthy never have an opportunity of seeing her and 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR, 87 

her brother I am not likely. to see. Therefore I beseech 
you to convey them to her from me." 

" To whom ? Not Julian ? " 

"Yes, to Julian." 

Anthony muttered an oath. 

"I will take them from my hat and throw them under 
foot," he said, angrily. "I did not ask for a favour of 
Julian Crymes, but for something of yours, Urith." 

" You did not ask any one for a favour," she replied, 
gravely. "You took the gloves unasked." 

He pulled them from his hat, and was about to cast them 
back on the window-sill, when Urith arrested his hand. 

" No," she said ; " I asked you a favour, and you will 
not be so discourteous a knight as to refuse it me." 

' You take me as your knight ! " exclaimed Anthony, with 
a flash of pleasure from his eyes that met hers, and before 
which hers fell. 

"My errand boy," she said, with a smile, "my foot-page 
to carry messages from me. You will take the gloves to 
Julian Crymes." 

" Not in my hat, but in my belt thus," said Anthony, 
passing them under his girdle. Then, after a pause, he 
said, " You have given me nothing." 

" Yes, I have." 

" What ? Only another maid's gloves ? " 

" Something else. My forgiveness." 

"Full?" 

" Yes full. Go now, and take the gloves." 

"I shall return another day for something of your own." 

Still he loitered ; then suddenly looked up, with a laugh. 
" Mistress ! What is your livery ? What is your colour ? " 

"My colour! Yellow yellow as the marigold, for I am 
jealous." 

" Then, here is my hat. You shall put your badge in it." 

"Not till I admit your service." 

" You have you have given me a commission." 

Urith laughed. " Very well. There are marsh mari 
golds in the brook. You shall have them." 



88 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 



CHAPTER XH. 

AND ALAIN. 

Anthony went home to Hall. He was on foot if he must 
go to Kilworthy and return the gloves to Julian Crymes, 
he would ride. They hung in his girdle. His hat was gay 
with marsh marigolds. A sudden, overwhelming intoxica 
tion of happiness had come over Urith. She was loved, 
and loved in return. Her heart had hitherto known no 
love, or only that which was rendered as a duty to an ex 
acting and trying mother. The world to her had become 
wider, brighter, the sky higher. The condition in which 
her mother was was forgotten for a moment, for a moment 
only, as with fluttering heart and trembling fingers, and 
pulses that leaped and then were still, she picked the mari 
golds and put them in his cap. Then he was gone, and 
she returned at once to her mother's room. 

Anthony wore his hat ajaunt as he strode into the yard 
of Hall, and when he saw his sister Bessie in the door, he 
called to her to come to him, to save himself the trouble 
of taking a dozen steps to her out of his way to the stable. 

She obeyed the summons at once. 

"Bess!" said he, "I have made a promise for thee. I 
have been to Willsworthy, and have said that thou wilt go 
there to-day." 

" Oh, Anthony ! " said Elizabeth, in return. " How could 
you do as you have done concerning the headpiece ? " 

"There, there! that is finished and done for. I sent it 
back the same night I called up the sexton to help me. 
But the matter is at an end, and I will not have it stirred 
again. Do you hear, you must go to Willsworthy to-day. 
I have passed my word." 

" I cannot, Tony. I was on my way there when I met 
Luke, and he told me what you had done. Then for shame 
I could not go on, but returned home." 

" I went there and made my peace," said Anthony. " Do 
not blow a drop of soap into a vast globe. It is all over 
and mended. I said I was sorry, and that was the end of 
the matter." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 89 

" But Luke told me that Mistress Malvine has had a fit 
because of it." 

" She has had the like before, and has recovered ; she 
will be herself again to-morrow and, it matters not ! sickly 
and aged folk must expect these accidents. You shall go 
to Willsworthy to-day." 

" I cannot indeed, brother, for my father has forbidden 
it." 

" Forbidden you going there ? " 

' Yes, brother, when I came back, he asked where I had 
been, and when I told him he was wrath, and bade me 
never go there again. He would not, he said, have it 
appear that he was begging off from the consequences of 
what you had done." 

" I have begged off. That is to say I explained it was 
all a mistake. I meant no wrong, and so it is covered up 
and passed over." 

" That may be, Tony, but against my father's command 
I cannot go." 

" It is such folly," said Anthony, "I will go see him my 
self. You shall go there. I told Urith that I would send 
you. My father shall not make my word empty." 

He went by her. 

She caught his arm, and said, in a low tone, " Brother, 
why do you make so much now of Urith Malvine ? And 
you treating her as your true love ? " 

" True love ! " repeated he, "scornfully. " That is the way 
with all you woman-kind. If one but sees a handsome girl, 
and speaks two words to her, at once you arrive at the 
notion that we have chosen each other as true lovers, passed 
rings and promises, and wished for a marriage licence. Let 
me go by." 

He walked into the house, and to his father's room, which 
he entered without announcing himself. 

The old man sat by the fire. His account-books were 
on the table, at his side. The fire was of turf and wood. 

" What is this, father ? " began Anthony, in his imperious 
fashion, " That you have forbidden Bess to go to see the 
Malvine family, and the Madame is ill, had a falling fit this 
morning." 

" It is not for us to make a scrape and a cringe to the 
like of them," answered the old man, raising himself in his 



90 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

chair by a hand on each arm, as he had sunk together in 
the seat. " I take it the Cleverdons need not stoop to 
that beggar brood." 

"I did wrong," said Anthony, shortly. "And I have 
been to Willsworthy, and said I was sorry. I offered to 
put up a monument of stone to Master Richard Mai vine at 
our own cost." 

"You did!" 

" Yes, father, I did, I would do it at my own expense." 

" You have not a penny but what I allow you, and not 
one penny would I hand out for such a purpose." 

" Then it is as well that my offer was refused." 

' I bade you forbear going to that house when you spake 
of it this morning. " 

" You advised me not to go ; but my conscience spoke 
louder than your voice, father, and I went." 

"How were you received ? " asked old Cleverdon, with a 
malignant leer. 

Anthony shrugged his shoulders : " The old Madam fell 
into a fit at the sight of me. There was also Luke 
there." 

" Oh, Luke ! " said Anthony senior, with a sneer. " He 
may go there ; but no son or daughter of mine. "We do 
not consort with beggars. That is enough. .You have 
been. Do not go again. If they bring the matter into a 
court of law I am well content more than content, for it 
will bring them to utter beggary, and they will have, 
maybe, to sell, and I will buy them out. " He turned to 
the fire and laughed at the thought. Then, turning his 
face round again over his pointed shoulder, he said, in an 
altered tone, " I <im glad you are in here ; you do not often 
give me a chance of a talk, 'and now I wish to speak with 
you of serious matters. You are getting to be a man, Tony 
quite a man and must think of settling in life. It is 
high time for us to have the arrangement with Julian 
Crymes " 

" What arrangement? " 

" Oh, you know. It has been an understood thing. 
You have not been ignorant, though you may affect to 
know nothing about it. Fine property hers ! All the Kil- 
worthy estate after her father's death. He has it for his 
life. But there is money. A good deal, I doubt not, will 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 91 

go with her hand at once. If we had that we could clear 
the mortgage off Hall." 

Anthony frowned, and folded his arms. 

" I am against delaying marriage till late," continued old 
Cleverdon ; " so I propose that you have a talk with Julian 
at once, and get her to say when it is to be. Some time 
this year ; but not in May May marriages are unlucky." 
The old man chuckled, and said, "I reckon your honey 
moon you will find a harvest moon." 

" I have no fancy for Julian Cryraes," said Anthony ; " I 
never had." 

" Pshaw ! Of course you have a fancy for Kilworthy. It 
will fit on with Hall bravely ; and so the old Glanville prop 
erty will come together all in time to the Cleverdons." 

"I am not going to take Julian for the sake of Kilworthy. 
That you may be assured of," said Anthony. 

" Oh, yes, you will ; but I dare say you want to keep out 
of chains a little longer. If so, I do not press you. Never 
theless, in the end it comes to this you must take Julian 
and her estate." 

" I will have neither one nor the other," said Anthony. 
"I do not want to marry when I do~I will please myself." 

"You will consult my wishes and my plans," said the 
father. " But there, I have said enough. Turn the thing 
over in your head ; the girl likes you, small blame to her 
you are the bravest cockrell in the district, and can crow 
loud enough to make all others keep silence." 

" I will never take Julian," again said Anthony. "It is 
of no use, father, urging this ; she has been thrown at me, 
and has thrown herself at me. I may have pi-attled arid 
laughed with her, but I never cared much for her. I shall 
never take but the maid that pleases me ; I give you assur 
ance of this, father." 

" Well, well, that will suffice. I was too early in speak 
ing. Take your time ; in the end you will see through my 
spectacles. Now I am busy ; you may go." 

Anthony left. He was irritated at his father for endeav 
oring to force him to marry Julian Crymes, irritated with 
him for his depreciatory tone when speaking of the Mai- 
vines, irritated with him for not allowing his sister to go to 
Willsworthy. 

At the present moment he felt very reluctant to go to 



92 URITH: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

Kilworthy and see Julian, to return to her the pair of gloves. 
After she had been thrust on him and he had declined to 
think of her, he felt out of humour for a visit to her ; he had 
lost command of himself, iu his annoyance, and might speak 
with scant courtesy. 

"If I could light on Fox I would give him the gloves," 
said Anthony, as he mounted the horse. 

He rode out on a down near Hall, and there drew rein, 
uncertain whether he would go direct to Kilworthy or not 

" No," said he, " I will ride first to Peter Tavy and see 
that the head-post of Master Malvine be secure. I will 
give the sexton something to have the foot scarfed, that it 
may not fall over or give way. After that I can go to Kil 
worthy." So he turned his horse's head in the direction of 
the inn, the Hare and Hounds at Cudliptown, where he 
would fall into the road to Peter Tavy. 

In his irritation at what his father had proposed, he for 
got about the bunch of flowers in his hat. He left them 
there disregarded, fretting in his mind at his father's at 
tempt to force him to a union that was distasteful to him. 
He liked Julian well enough ; she was a handsome girl. He 
had admired her, he had played the lover played without 
serious intent, for his heart had not been touched but 
now he entertained an aversion from her, an aversion that 
was not old ; it dated but from the previous day, but it had 
ripened whilst his father spoke to him of her. 

Anthony was this day like a charged electric battery, 
and any one that came near him received a shock. His 
father had seen that the mood of the young man was not 
one iu which he would bear to be contradicted ; the old 
man was aware that his son would discharge his feelings 
against him quite as readily as against another, and he, 
therefore, had the discretion not to press a point that irri 
tated Anthony, and was like to provoke an outburst 

And now, as Anthony rode over the down, past many 
old tumuli covering the dead of prehistoric times, he had 
no eyes for the beauty of the scene that opened before him, 
eyes for no antiquities that he passed, ears for none of the 
fresh and pleasant voices of early spring that filled the air ; 
he was occupied with his own thoughts, grumbling and 
muttering over the matters of dissatisfaction that had risen 
up and crossed him. He had apologised for the outrage 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 93 

committed on Richard Malvine's grave, but he could not 
excuse himself of having occasioned a shock to Mistress 
Mai vine. He was angry with his father for the slighting 
manner in which he spoke of the Malvines, for having for 
bidden Bessie going to them, for having endeavoured to 
force him into an engagement with Julian. He would please 
himself, murmured Anthony to himself ; in such a matter 
as this he would brook no dictation. His liking for Urith 
was too young to have assumed any shape and force, and 
he had no thoughts of its leading any further. Such as it 
was, it had been fed and stimulated by opposition the in 
terference on the moor, the opposition of his father, the diffi 
culties put in his way by his own act but then Anthony 
was just the man to be settled in a course by encountering 
opposition therein. 

He crossed the river, reached Cudliptown, and saw the 
surgeon's horse hitched up outside the tavern. The doctor 
had been to Willsworthy, and had halted at the Hare and 
Hounds for refreshment on his way home. 

Anthony at once dismounted. He would go in there 
and ask tidings of the health of the widow. 

He fastened up his house and entered the tavern, in his 
usual swaggering, defiant manner, with his hat on, and a 
frown on his brow. He found in the inn, not the surgeon 
only, but James Cudlip, and to his surprise Anthony 
Crymes. 

The relationship in which Anthony Cleverdon stood to Fox 
was intimate but not cordial. They had known each other 
and had associated together since they were children; 
they had been at school together ; they hunted, and rab 
bited, and hawked together. Anthony was not one who could 
endure to be alone, and as he had no other companion of 
his age and quality with whom to associate, he took up 
with Fox rather than be solitary. But when together they 
were ever bickering. Fox's bitter tongue made Anthony 
start, and with his slow wit he was incapable of other re 
tort than threat. Moreover, from every one else young 
Anthony received flattery ; only from Fox did he get gibes. 
He bore in his heart a simmering grudge against him that 
never boiled up into open quarrel. Fox took a malicious 
delight in tormenting his comrade, whom he both envied 
and disliked. 



94: UEITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

That Anthony Crymes had paid his addresses to Urilh, 
and had been refused, was unknown to Anthony Cleverdon, 
to whom Crymes confided no secrets of his heart or ambi 
tion. 

When Anthony caught sight of Fox at the table, he 
checked the question relative to the condition of Madame 
Mai vine that rose to his lips, and came over to the settle. 

" Why ! what a May Duke have we here ! " exclaimed 
Fox Crymes, pointing with a laugh at Anthony's cap. 
" What is the meaning of this decoration ? " 

Instead of replying, Anthony called for ale. 

" And wearing his mistress* gloves as well ! " shouted 
Crymes. 

" They are not my inisti-ess' gloves," answered Anthony, 
hastily, and in a tone of great irritation. "If you would 
know, Fox, whose they are, then I tell you, they belong to 
your sister." 

" How came you by them ? And wherefore wear 
them ? " 

"I was on the lookout for you, Fox, to return them to 
you for her. I do not want them. She lost them over 
night." 

"And where did you find them ? On the moor ? " 

" They were given to me by the finder. Will that sat 
isfy you ? I will answer no more questions." 

Crymes saw that Anthony Cleverdon was in an irascible 
mood such a mood as gave him special opportunities of 
vexing Anthony and amusing himself. 

" And now about your posie of golden cups ? " he asked 
tauntingly. 

"I said I would answer no more questions." 

" It is not necessary. I know very well where you have 
been." 

" I have been home at Hall," said Anthony, going over 
to Ihe table from the settle, where he felt himself uneasy 
with all eyes fixed on him. He pulled the gloves out of 
his belt and laid them before him, and drew them their 
full length on the table, then smoothed them with his fin 
ger. He wished he had not entered the inn ; his face was 
clouded, and his muscles twitched, Crymes enjoying his 
evident annoyance. He sat on the further side of the ta 
ble, with his mug of beer by him. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 95 

" I know very well where you have been," said he again, 
with his twinkling, malicious eyes fixed on Anthony. " So 
was I the day before yesterday ; and also came off with a 
posie but a better one than yours." 

" It is a lie ! " burst from the irritated young man, start 
ing. " Urith never Then he checked himself, as 
Fox broke into ironical laughter at the success of his essay 
to extract from Anthony the secret of his bunch of mari 
golds. Anthony saw that he had been trapped, and be 
came more chafed and hot than before. 

" Do you know what she meant by giving you those 
flowers ? " asked Cryrnes, and paused with his eyes on the 
man he was baitiug. 

Anthony answered with a growl. 

" You know what they are called by the people ? " said 
Crymes. "Drunkards. 'And, when you were presented 
with that posie, it was as much as to say that none save one 
to whom such a term applied would have acted as you had 
done last night by your offence against a dead man's grave, 
and by adding insult to injury by your "visiting the widow 
and child to-day." 

The blood poured into Anthony's face and dazzled his 
eyes. A malevolent twitch of the muscles of the mouth 
showed how Fox enjoyed tormenting him. 

" Go again a little later in the season, and Urith will find 
another, and even more appropriate, adornment for your 
hat a coxcomb ! " 

Yeoman Cudlip and Surgeon Doble laughed aloud, so 
did the serving wench who had just brought in Anthony's ale. 

The young fellow, stung beyond endurance, sprang to 
his feet with a snort he could not speak and struck Fox 
across the face with the gloves. 

Crymes uttered a cry of pain and rage, and with his 
hand to his eye drew the hunting-knife from his belt, and 
struggled out of his place to get at Anthony. The surgeon 
and yeoman threw themselves in his way and disarmed 
him, the girl screamed and fled to the kitchen. 

" He has blinded me ! " gasped Fox, as he sank back 
into a seat. " I cannot see." 

Anthony was alarmed. Water was brought, and the face 
of Crymes washed. One of the silver tags of the glove 
had struck and injured the right eyeball. 



96 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 



CHAPTER 

WIDOW PENWARNE. 

There are epochs in the lives of most men when a sad 
fatality seems to dog their steps and turn athwart all that 
they do. Anthony had come to such an epoch suddenly 
since that ride and walk along the Lyke-Way. He had 
allowed himself to be taunted into a foolish visit to the 
churchyard on St. Mark's Eve, when there he had desecra 
ted a grave, then he had thrown Madame Malvine into a 
fit, had disagreed with his father, and now had injured the 
eye of his comrade. 

Anthony's anger cooled down the moment he \vas aware 
of what he had done, but this was not a piece of mischief 
that could be put to rights at once, like the replacing of the 
headpiece of the grave. His presence in the room was a 
distraction and cajise of irritation to the man he had hurt, 
now in the hands of the surgeon, and he deemed it advis 
able to leave the inn, mount his horse, and ride away to 
Peter Tavy Church, where he desired to have a word with 
the sexton and carpenter relative to the old head-post of 
Malvine's grave. 

Peter Tavy Church, or the Church of St. Peter on the 
Tavy, is a grey granite edifice, mottled with lichen, with 
moorstone pinnacles, and a cluster of fine old trees in the 
yard. Externally the church is eminently picturesque, it, 
was beautiful within at the time of our tale, in spite of the 
havoc wrought in the period of the Directory ; of more 
recent times it has undergone a so-called restoration which 
has destroyed what remained of charm. 

For a long time it has been matter of felicitation that 
the old opprobrium attaching to the men of the West 
Country of being wreckers has ceased to apply ; the in 
humanity of destroying vessels and their crews for the sake 
of the spoil that could be got from them has certainly 
ceased. But we are mistaken if we suppose that wrecking 
as a profession or pastime has come to an end altogether. 
The complaint has been driven inwards, or rather, wreck 
ing is no longer practised on ships, which the law has 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 97 

taken under its protection, but on the defenceless parish 
churches. 

The havoc that has been wrought in our churches within 
the last thirty years is indescribable. In Cornwall, with 
ruthless and relentless activity, the parish churches have, 
with rare exceptions, been attacked one after another, and 
robbed of all that could charm and interest, and have been 
left cold and hideous skeletons. I know nothing that more 
reminds one (speaking ecclesiologically) of the desert 
strewn with the bones of what were once living and beau 
tiful creatures, scraped of every particle of flesh, the mar 
row picked out of their bones, the soul, the divine spark of 
beauty and life, expelled for ever. 

No sooner does a zealous incumbent find himself in the 
way of collecting money to do up his church, than he rubs 
his hands over it and says, "Embowelled will I see thee by 
and by." Falstaff was fortunately able to get away from 
the knife. Alas ! not so our beautiful old churches. The 
architect and the contractor are called in, and the embow- 
elling goes on apace. All the old fittings are cast forth, 
the monumental slabs broken up, the walls are scraped 
and painted, plaster everywhere peeled off, just as the skin 
was taken off St. Bartholomew, and the shells are exulted 
over by architect, contractor, parson, and parishioners, as 
shells from which the bright soul has been expelled sans 
beauty, sans interest, sans poetry, sans everything. The man 
of taste and feeling crosses the threshold, and falls back 
with the same sense as comes on the reader of a young 
lady's novel, as at a mouthful of bread from which the salt 
has been omitted, of something inexpressibly flat and 
insipid. Before its restoration, Peter Tavy Church had the 
remains of a beautiful roodscreen nicely painted and gilt, 
and an unique pew of magnificent carved oak for the man 
orial lord to sit in, with twisted columns at the angles sup 
porting heraldic lions. 

Anthony Cleverdon dismounted from his horse at the 
church-yard, hitched up his beast, and entered the grave 
yard. He saw the sexton there, and talking to him was an 
old woman in threadbare dress, grey hair, very dark pierc 
ing eyes, bent, and leaning on a staff. She was a stranger, 
at all events, lie did not know her, and yet there was a 
something in her features that seemed peculiar to him. 
7 



98 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

The sexton said something to her, and she at once came 
down the church path to meet Anthony, extending to him 
her hand. 

" Ah ! " she said. " I can see, I can see my Margaret in 
your face you have her eyes, her features, and the same 
toss of head. I know you. You have never, maybe, heard 
of me, and yet I am your grandmother. Have you come 
here to see your mother's grave? I am glad, I am glad it 
is cared for, not, I ween, by your father. Which of you 
thinks of the mother, and has set flowers on the grave 
see, it is alight with primroses ? " 

"I believe that was Bessie's doing," answered Anthony; 
then involuntarily he looked at her shabby gown, patched 
and worn. 

"I would like to see Bessie. Is she like you? If so 
she is like your mother. Ah ! my Mnrgaret was the 
handsomest girl in all the West of England. You have 
not forgotten your mother, I hope, young man." 

" I do not remember her you forget she died shortly 
after I was born." 

" How should I know ? " The old woman took his hand, 
and held it fast as she peered into his face with eager eyes. 
" H >w should I know, when your father never took the 
trouble to let me know that my own, my dear and only 
child, was dead ? If I had known she was ill, I would 
have come to her, though he took, as he threatened to take, 
the pitchfork to me, if I crossed his threshold. I would 
have come and nursed her; then, maybe, she would not 
have died. But he did not tell me. He did not ask me 
to her burial, and not till long after did I hear she was no 
more. He was a hard and a cruel man." 

The clear tears formed in the old woman's eyes, and 
trickled down her cheeks. 

"I have been ill all the winter, and very poor ; but that 
was not known, and if known would not have concerned 
your father. When I got better, I came here to ask if J 
might be buried, when I die, near my Margaret. Or are 
you Cleverdons too great and fine now for that ? Well 
you will let me lie at her feet, though I was her mother, 
just as I have seen a dog put under the soles of the figures 
in old churches. You are her son, you are my own grand 
child, though you have never known me and cared for me, 



TTRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 99 

and given me a thought. Please the Lord, you are not 
hard as your father, and you will grant me this." 

"I did not know I had a grandmother," said Anthony. 
"If there is anything you want, it shall be done." 

" No, I do not suppose that your father ever spoke of 
me. Your mother's father was the parson here, and died 
leaving no money. I had to leave, and become a house 
keeper to maintain myself, and what little money I then 
earned has been expended in my illness. Now, will you 
let me see Bessie ? She is good, she remembers her 
mother, and thinks of her." 

Anthony endeavoured to withdraw his hand from the 
grasp of the old woman, but she would not suffer it ; she 
laid the other cai'essingly on his, and said, 

" No, my boy, you will not be unkind, you will not go 
from me without a promise to bring me Bessie. I must 
see her." 

"You shall come to Hall, and see her there." 

She shook her grey head. " Never ! never ! I could not 
bear to be in that house where your mother, my poor Mar 
garet, suffered. Moreover, your father would not endure 
it! He threatened to take the pitchfork to me when 
your mother was alive." 

"He would not do that now," said Anthony. "But as 
you will. I will bring Bessie to you. Where shall I find 
you?" 

"I am staying at Master Youldon's. He knew my dear 
husband in the old times, and knew me, and does not for 
get old kindnesses." 

" Very well. You shall see Bessie. I have some business 
with the sexton." 

Then he withdrew his hand from the old woman, and 
went to the grave of Richard Malvine, where he gave direc 
tions what was to be done to that and the headpiece. 

Widow Penwarne came to him. 

"What is this?" she asked. ''What have you to do 
with this grave ? " 

"I have some orders to give concerning it," answered 
Anthony, vexed at her interference. "I will speak with 
you later, madam." 

" But what does the grave of Richard Malvine matter to 
you? " again she asked. "Ah! " she exclaimed, and went 



1UO URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

and picked some of the primroses from the mound over 
her daughter, and then strewed them over the grave of 
Richard, " Ah ! " she said. " Here lie two whose hearts 
were broken by your father two for whom he will have to 
answer at the Judgment Day, and then I will stand up along 
with them, and point the finger at him, and accuse him. 
If there be a righteous God, then as He is righteous so will 
He judge and punish ! " 

" Why, well, now, is not this strange ? " exclaimed An 
thony. "Here comes my sister Elizabeth. I wonder 
much what has brought her." 

Bessie appeared, with a wreath of spring flowers in her 
hand. She had ridden, attended by a serving-man. She 
was surprised and pleased to see Anthony at Richard Mai- 
vine's grave. 

" Oh, brother ! " she said, "I have been so troubled over 
what has been done that I set to work to make a garland 
to hang on the grave, as some token of respect, and regret 
for what had been done." 

" What, you also ! " exclaimed the old woman, and went 
to her and clasped her hands. " You are Bessie Clever- 
don, the dear child of my Margaret. Let me kiss you, ay, 
and bless you." She drew the head of Elizabeth to her 
and kissed her. 

"This is our grandmother, Bessie," exclaimed Anthony. 

" Ay ! " said the old woman, studying the girl earnestly 
with her dark, eager eyes. "Yes, I am the grandmother 
of you both ; but you are not like my Margaret, not in face, 
and yet not like your father please God in heaven not 
like him in soul ! " she said, with vehemence. 

"Let us go aside," said Anthony, " out of earshot of the 
sexton, if you cannot speak of my father without such an 
overflow of spleen." 

"Then we will go to your mother's grave, "said Madame 
Pen warn e. " I see you stand by your father ; but I can see 
this in you that you will stand by him so long as he does 
not cross your will. Let him but oppose you, young man, 
where your headstrong will drives, and there will be 
trouble between you. Then, maybe, your father will begin 
to receive the chastisement from the hand of the Lord that 
has been hanging over him ever since he took Margaret to 
Hall. That is a strange turn of the wheel, that his two 



URITH: A TALE OF 1 DARTMOOR. 101 

children should meet at the grave of Kichard Malvine to 
care for its adornment. And I warrant you do not know, 
either of you, what is owing^ to him who lies there ay ! 
and to her who rests at our feet." 

" I can't understand riddles," said Anthony, " and it is 
no pleasure to me to hear hard words cast at my father. If 
you are in poverty, grandmother, you shall be helped. I 
will speak to my father about you, and when I speak he 
will listen and do as is fitting. Of that be assured. If you 
have anything further to say of my father, say it to him, 
not to me." 

"I will take nothing, not a farthing of his, "answered the 
old woman, sharply. 

" Why not, grandmother ? " asked Bessie, gently, and 
kissed the old woman's quivering cheek. ' It will be the 
greatest unhappiness to Anthony and mo to think that you 
are not provided for in your age, and in comfort. We 
shall not be able to rest if we suppose that' you are in 
want. It would fill us with concern and self-reproach. 
My father is just, and he also " 

" No," said the old woman, interrupting her, "just he is 
not. Moreover, he owes me too much or rather he owes 
my dead daughter, your mother, too much he cannot re 
pay it : not one thousandth part with coin. You, Elizabeth, 
are older than your brother. You must know that your 
mother's life was made miserable, that she had no happi 
ness at Hall." 

" And I trust and believe," said Bessie, "that my dear 
mother, in the rest of Paradise, has long ago forgotten her 
troubles, and forgiven my father if he had in any way an 
noyed her." 

"Do not be so sure of that, child," exclaimed the old 
woman, with vehemence. "If I were to go out of this life 
to-morrow, I should go before the throne of God to de 
nounce your father, and I would cull Richard Malvine and 
your mother as witnesses against him. Shall I tell you 
what he did ? These who lie here he yonder, where you 
have placed the garlands, and my poor Margaret loved 
each other, and would have been happy with each other. 
But her father died, I was poor, and then for the sake of 
his money, Margaret was persuaded to take Anthony Clev- 
erdon, and give up Richard Malvine." 



102 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"If that be so " began young Anthony. 

"It is so," said the old woman, vehemently. 

" Then the blame lies with you," said he. " You pressed 
her to take the rich man and refuse the poor. My father 
was guiltless." 

The widow drew back and trembled ; but presently re 
covered herself and said, " That may be I bear in part 
the blame. But if he had been kind to her it would have 
been other. I would not reproach him ; but it was not so, 
and Bessie was old enough to remember that little love 
passed between them, that he was hard, and cruel, and un 
kind. He broke her heart and there she lies." 

"I am not here," said Anthony, "to hear my father re 
proached. I respect you as my grandmother ; but you 
have doubtless a jaundiced eye, that sees all things yellow. 
I will see what earn be done for you. It does not befit us 
that the mother of our mother should be in want." 

As they spoke, from out of the church came Luke Clev- 
erdon. His face was pale, and his eyes were sunken. The 
sexton had not known that he was in the sacred building. 
Luke came towards the little group, treading his way 
among the graves with care. The tomb of the Cleverdons 
was near the chancel south window. He extended his hand 
to Mistress Penwarne, saying, "I was within. It was not 
my fault if I heard much that was said ; and now I have 
but come into your midst, Anthony, Bessie, and you, 
Madame, to make a humble petition. I am curate in 
charge here ; the rector is not resident. I live in the old 
parsonage, that must be so familiar to Mistress Penwarne 
every room hallowed with some sweet recollection and 
I am alone, and need a kinswoman to be my housekeeper, 
and " he smiled at the old woman " be to me as a 
mother. Madame, will you honour my poor roof by tak 
ing up your abode therein ? It is, forsooth, more yours 
than mine, for there you lived your best days, and to it you 
are attached by strongest ties ; but I am but a casual tenant. 
It is not mine I am but the curate. Here we have no 
continuous city, and every house is to us but a tavern on 
our pilgrimage where we stay a night." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 103 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE CLEAVE. 

Throughout the day Willsworthy was full of visitors. 
Never before had it been so frequented. The act of An 
thony Cleverdon had been bruited through the neighbour 
hood, and aroused general indignation against the young 
man and sympathy for the widow. 

Mistress Malvine was sufficiently recovered in the after 
noon to receive some of those who arrived in her bedroom, 
and Mr. Solomon Gibbs entertained the rest in the hall. 
Those Avho had known the Malvines well these were not 
many and those who knew them distantly, persons of the 
gentle class, of the yeoman and farmer ranks, all thought 
it incumbent on them to come, express their opinions, and 
inquire after the widow. Not only did these arrive, but 
also many cottagers appeared at the kitchen door, full of 
sympathy or at all events, of talk. It really seemed as if 
Willsworthy, which had dropped out of every one's mind, 
had suddenly claimed supreme regard. 

It was a source of real gratification to the sick woman to 
assume a position of so much consequence. It is always a 
satisfaction to hear other persons pour out the vials of 
wrath and hold up hands in condemnation of those who 
have given one offence, and Madame Malvine was not mere 
ly flattered by becoming the centre of interest, to the neigh 
bourhood, but was influenced by the opinions expressed in 
her ear, and her indignation against Anthony was deep 
ened. 

Wherever in the house Urith went, she heard judgment 
pronounced on him in no measured terms, the general 
voice condemned him as heartless and profane. Question 
was made what proceeding would be taken against him, 
and abundance of advice was offered as to the course to be 
pursued to obtain redress. Urith was unable to endure the 
talk of the women in her mother's room, and she descend 
ed to the hall, there to hear her Uncle Solomon, amongst 
farmers and yeomen, tell the story of Anthony's deed with 



104 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

much exaggeration, and to hear the frank expressions of 
disapproval it elicited. 

Then she went into the kitchen, where the poorer neigh 
bours were congregated. Everywhere it was the same. Con 
demnation fell on Anthony. No one believed that he had 
not acted in wilful knowledge of what he was about. 

Urith could not fail to observe that there was a wide 
spread latent jealousy and dislike of the Cleverdons in the 
neighbourhood, occasioned partly, no doubt, by the suc 
cess of the old man in altering his position and entering a 
superior class, but chiefly due to his arrogance, hardness, 
and meanness. All the faults in Anthony's character were 
commented on, and his good qualities denied or disparaged. 

Urith could with difficulty restrain herself from contra 
dicting these harsh judges, and in taking on her the de 
fence of the culprit, but she saw clearly that her advocacy 
would be unavailing, and provoke comment. 

She therefore left the house. Her mother was so much 
recovered as not to need her. Whether the old lady acted 
wisely in receiving so much company after her fit, Urith 
doubted, but her mother had insisted on the visitors being 
admitted to her room, and under the excitement she rallied 
greatly. 

To be away from the clatter of tongues, she left the farm 
and went forth upon the moor. 

To the north of Willsworthy rises a ridge of bold and 
serrated rocks that rise precipitously above the River Taw, 
which foams below at a depth of three hundred feet ; they 
present the appearance of a series of ruined towers, ami 
are actually in places united by the remains of ancient 
walls of rude moorstoue, for what purpose piled up, it is 
not possible to say. 

A bar of red porphyritic granite crosses the ravine, and 
over this leaps the river into a deep pool, immediately be 
neath the boldest towers and pinnacles of rock that over 
hang. Among these crags, perched like an eagle above 
the dizzy abyss, sat Urith on a rock, listening to the roar of 
the river wafted up to her from beneath. Away to the 
north and east of the moor extended shoulder on shoul 
der, to the lonely peak of Fur Tor that rises in uttermost 
solitude near the sources of the Tavy, amidst all but un- 
traversable morasses. She was glad to be there, alone, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 105 

away from the lips that spit their venom on the name of 
Anthony. 

The human heart is full of strange caprices, and is 
wayward as a spoiled child. The very fact that the 
whole country side was combined to condemn Anthony 
made Urith in heart exculpate him that every mouth 
blamed him made her excuse him. It was true that he 
had acted with audacious folly, but there was merit in that 
audacity. What other youth would have ventured into the 
churchyard on such a night? The audacity so qualified the 
folly as almost to obliterate it. He had been challenged 
to the venture. Would it have been manly had he de 
clined the challenge ? Did not the blame attach to such as 
had dared him to the reckless deed ? She repeated to her 
self the words that had been spoken in her mother's house 
about him, so extravagant in expression, exaggerated in 
judgment as to transcend justice, and her heart revolted 
against the extravagance and forgave him. If all the world 
stood up in condemnation, yet would not she. Her cheeks 
flushed and her eyes sparkled. She recalled his chivalry 
towards her on the moor ; she heard again his voice ; recol 
lected how he had held her in his arms ; she felt again the 
throb of his heart, heard his breathing as he strode with 
her through the flames, as he wrestled with her for the 
mastery ; and she laughed aloud, she rejoiced that he had 
conquered. Had she overmastered him, and her will had 
been submitted to by him, she would have despised him. 
Because he was so strong in his resolution, so determined 
in carrying it out, she liked and respected him. 

There flashed before her something like lightning it 
was his eyes, lifted to hers, with that strange look that 
sent a thrill through all her veins and tingled in her ex 
tremities. That look of his had revealed to her something 
to which she dare not give a name, a something which 
gave him a right to demand of her that morning testimony 
to his integrity of purpose, a something that constrained 
her, without a thought of resistance, to give him what he 
asked, first her hand in witness that she believed him, then 
the bunch of flowers in token that she accepted him as her 
knight. As her knight ? 

Her heart bounded with pride and exultation at the 
thought ! He her knight ! He, the noblest youth in all 



106 URITff: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

the region round, a very Saul, taller by the head and 
shoulders than any other, incomparably handsome, more 
manly, open, generous, brave brave ! who feared neither 
man nor midnight spectre. 

Yet when Julian Crymes had charged her with attempt 
ing to rob her of her lover, she, Urith, had repelled the 
charge, and had declared that she did not value, did not 
want him. Nor had she then ; but the very violence, the 
defiance of Julian, had forced her to think of him to think 
of him in the light of a lover. The opposition of Julian 
had been the steel stroke on her flinty heart that had 
brought out the spark of fire. If anything had been re 
quired to fan this spark into flame, that had been supplied by 
the chattering, censorious swarm of visitors that afternoon. 

And Anthony ? How stood he ? 

At that moment he was weighed down with a sense of 
depression and loneliness such as he had never felt pre 
viously. He had been accustomed to be flattered and made 
a great deal of. His father, his sister, his cousin, the ser 
vants, Fox Crymes, every one had shown him deference, had 
let him see that he was esteemed a man born to fortune 
and success ; he had been good at athletic exercises, good 
in sport, a good horseman, taller, stronger than his com 
peers, and heir to a wealthy gentleman. But all at once 
luck had turned against him ; he had committed blunders 
and had injured those with whom he had come in contact ; 
possibly blinded Fox, had offended the Mai vine family, 
thrown the old dame into a fit, had quarrelled with his 
father, brought down on his head the reproach and ridicule 
of all who knew him. Then came the encounter with his 
grandmother, and the discovery of the wrong done to his 
mother and to the father of Urith by his own father. Bold, 
self-opinionated as Anthony was, yet this sudden shock had 
humbled him and staggered him : he had fallen from a 
pinnacle and was giddy. A sort of irrational, blind instinct 
within him drove him back in the direction of "Willsworthy. 
He felt that he could not rest unless he saw Urith again, 
and so he explained his feeling told her more fully the 
circumstances of the previous night's adventure, and heard 
from her own lips that her mother was not seriously injured 
in health by the distress he had caused her, and that she, 
Urith, forgave him. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 107 

His imagination worked. He had not been explicit 
enough when he came to "Willsworthy. The fainting tit of 
the mother had interrupted his explanation. Afterwards 
he had forgotten to say what he had intended to say, and 
what ought to have been said. When he was gone, Urith 
would consider it strange that he had been so curt and 
reserved, she would hear her Uncle Solomon's stories, 
tinged with rum punch past recognition of where truth 
shaded into fiction. 

Moreover, he felt a craving for Urith's sympathy ; he 
wanted to acquaint her with what he had done to Fox 
Crymes before the story reached her embellished and en 
larged. To his discredit it would be told, and might 
prejudice her against him. He must forestall gossip and 
tell her the truth himself. 

So he rode in the direction of Willsworthy, but when he 
came near the place, an unusual diffidence stole over him 
he did not dare to venture up to the house, and he hung 
about the vicinity in the road, then he went out on the 
moor, and it was when on the down that he thought he 
caught sight of her at some distance in the direction of the 
Cleave. 

A labourer came by. " Who is that yonder? " he asked. 

" I reckon any fool knows," answered the clown. " That 
be our young lady, Mistress Urith." 

" Take my horse, fellow," said Anthony, and dismounted. 

He went over the moor in pursuit of the girl, and found 
her seated on the rock with a foot swinging over the preci 
pice. She was so startled when he spoke to her as almost 
to lose her balance. He caught her hand, and she rose to 
her feet. 

They stood on a ledge. Two towers of rock rose with a 
cleft between them like a window. The shelves of the 
granite were matted with whortleberry leaves, now all 
ranges of colour from green, through yellow to carmine, 
and with grey moss. A vein of porphyry penetrating the 
granite striped it with red, and Nature had tried her del 
icate pencil on the stone, staining or stippling it with her 
wondrously soft-toned lichenous paints. Below, at the 
depth of five hundred feet, the river roared over its red 
porphyry barrier, throwing into the air foam bubbles that 
were caught by the wind and carried up, and danced about, 



108 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

and sported with as are feathers by a wanton child. The 
.great side of Stannon Down opposite, rising to sixteen 
hundred feet, was covered by flying shadows of forget-me- 
not blue and pale sulphurous gleams of sun. As the light 
glided over it, it picked out the strange clusters of old cir 
cular huts and enclosures, some with their doors and lintels 
un thrown down, that were inhabited by an unknown race 
before history began. 

Anthony put his arm round Urith. "We stand," said 
he, "on the edge of a chasm ; a step, a start, and one or 
other perhaps both fall into the abyss to sheer destruc 
tion. Let me hold you ; I would not let you go if you 
went, it would not be alone." 

Urith did not answer ; a trembling fit came on her. 
She stood, she felt, at the brink of another precipice than 
that before her eyes. 

"I could not keep away," said Anthony. "I have got 
into trouble with every one, and I was afraid that you also 
would be set against me ; so, after I had been to see about 
your father's grave, that all was right there and Bessie 
had laid a garland of flowers on it then I came back here. 
I thought I must see you and explain what I forgot to say 
this morning." 

"You need say no more about that matter," answered 
Urith. " I told you at the time that I believed your word. 
You said you intended no ill. I am sure of that, quite 
sure. I know it is not in you to hurt" 

"And yet I have hurt you and your mother, and also 
Fox Crytnes." Then he told her how he had struck him, 
and that he was afraid he had seriously injured his eye. 

" And you have brought back the gloves ! " exclaimed 
Urith. 

"Yes; here they are." 

" You have not fulfilled my commission ? " 

" I will do it if you wish it ; I have not done it yet. I 
was going to give Fox the gloves ; I did not desire to see 
Julian. You must understand that my father has been 
speaking to me to-day about Julian it seems he has set 
his mind on making a pair of us. I do not know what Ju 
lian thinks, but I know my own mind, that this is not my 
taste. After he had spoken to me about her, I could not 
go on direct to her house and see her. My father would 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 109 

think that I gave in to him, and I should have been un-. 
easy myself." 

Urith said nothing, she was looking down at the tossing, 
thundering torrent far below. 

"I never cared much for Julian," continued Anthony, 
"and after yesterday I like her less." 

"Why so?" Urith looked up and met his eyes. 

" Why so ? Because I have seen you. If I have to go 
through life with any one, I will take you in the saddle be 
hind me no one else." 

Urith trembled more than before ; a convulsive, irrepres 
sible emotion had come over her. Sometimes it happens 
when the heavens are opened with a sudden flare of near 
and dazzling lightning, that those who have looked up have 
been struck with blindness. So was it now ; Urith had 
seen a heaven of happiness, a glory of love a new and 
wondrous world open before her, such as she had never 
dreamed of, of which no foretaste had ever been accorded 
her, and it left her speechless, with a cloud before her eyes, 
and giddy, so that she held out her hands gropingly to 
catch the rock ; it was unnecessary, the strong arm of An 
thony held her from falling. 

The young man paused for an answer. 

" Well ! " said he. " Have you no word ?"" 

None ; she moved her lips, she could not speak. 

"Come," said he, after another pause, "they who ride 
pillion ride thus the man has his leather belt, and to that 
the woman holds. Urith, if we are to ride together on 
life's road, lay hold of my belt." 

She held out her hands, still gropingly. 

" Stay ! " she said, suddenly recovering herself with a 
start. " You forgot ; you do not know me. Look at my 
hands, they are still torn ; I did that in one of my fits of 
rage. Do you not fear to take me when I go, when 
crossed, into such mad passion as these hands show? " 

Anthony laughed. " I fear ! I ! " 

Then she put her right hand to lay hold of his girdle, 
but caught and drew out the gloves. 

" I have these again ! " she exclaimed. " Even these 
gloves cast at me in defiance. Well, it matters not now. 
I refused to take them up, yet I could not shake them off ; 
now I take them and keep them. I accept the challenge." 



110 URITII : A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

She grasped him firmly by the girdle, and with the other 
hand thrust the gloves into her bosom. 

"I do not understand you," said Anthony. 

" There is no need that you should." 

Then he caught her up iu his arms, with a shout of ex 
ultation, and held her for a moment hanging over the aw 
ful gulf beneath. 

Sue looked him steadily in the eyes. She doubted 
neither his strength to hold her, nor his love. 

Then he drew her to him and kissed her. 

It is said that the sun dances on Easter day in the morn 
ing. It was noon now, but the sun danced over Urith and 
Anthony. 

"And now," said the latter, "about your mother. Will 
she give her consent ? " 

" And your father ? " asked Urith. 

" Oh, my father ! " repeated Anthony, scornfully, " what 
soever I will, that he is content with. As to your mo 
ther " 

" I know what I will do," said Urith ; " Luke has great 
influence with her. I will tell him all, and get him to ask 
her to agree and bless us. Luke will do anything I ask 
of him." 



CHAPTER XV. 

FATHER AND SON. 

When Anthony came home, he found that his father had 
been waiting supper a while for him, and then as he did 
not arrive, had ordered it in, and partaken of the meal. 

The old man's humour was not pleasant. He had been 
over that afternoon to Kihvorthy, and had heard of his 
son's act of recklessness. Fears were entertained for Fox's 
sight in one eye. He was ordered to have the eye band 
aged, and to be kept in the dark. 

When Anthony entered the room where was his father, 
the old man looked up at him from the table strewn with 
the remains of his meal, and said, roughly, "I expect 
regular hours kept in my house. AYhy were you not here 
at the proper time ? About any new folly or violence? " 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. Ill 

Anthony did not answer, but seated himself at the table. 

"I have been to Kilworthy," said the old man, "I have 
heard there of your conduct." 

"Fox insulted me. You would not have me endure an 
insult tamely ? " His father's tone nettled the young man. 

" Certainly not ; but men pink each other with rapiers, 
instead of striking with lace tags." 

" That is the first time any one has let fall that I am not 
a man," said Anthony. 

There was always a certain roughness, a lack of amiabil 
ity in the behaviour of father to son and son to father, not 
arising out of lack of affection, but that the old man was 
by nature coarse-grained, and he delighted in seeing his 
son blunt and brusque. He young Tony was no milk 
sop, he was proud to say. He was a lad who could hold 
his own against any one, and fight his way through the 
world. The old man was gratified at the swagger and 
independence of the youth, and at every proof he gave of 
rude and over-bearing self-esteem. But he was not pleased 
at the brawl with Fox Crymes ; it was undignified for one 
thing, and it caused a breach where he wished to see union. 
It threw an impediment in the way of the execution of a 
darling scheme, a scheme on which his heart had been set 
for twenty years. 

"I do not know what it was about," said the father, 
" more than that I had heard you had been squabbling in 
an alehouse about some girl." 

" The insult or impertinence was levelled at me," said 
Anthony, controlling himself ; "I did not mean to injure 
Fox, on that you may rely. I struck him over the face 
because he had whipped me into anger which I could not 
contain. I am sorry if I have hurt his eye. I am not 
sorry for having struck him, he brought it on himself." 

"It is not creditable," pursued old Cleverdon, "that 
your name should be brought into men's mouths about a 
vulgar brawl over some village drab or house wench." 

The blood surged into Anthony's face, he laid down his 
knife and looked steadily across the table at his father. 

" On that score," said he, "you may set your mind at 
rest. There has been no brawl over any village wench." 

"lean quite understand," said the father, "that Fox 
Crymes was jealous and did not measure words. He can 



112 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

pepper and spice his speeches till they burn as cautharides. 
What is he beside you ? If you cast a fancy here or there, 
and there be naught serious in it, and it interferes with his 
sport, he must bear it But, Tony, it is high time you was 
married. We must have no more of these wrangles. 
Whose name came up between you ? Was it his sister's ? 
I can well understand he does not relish her marriage. 
There has ever been rough water between them. She has 
the property and when old Justice Crymes dies where 
will he be ? Was that the occasion of the dispute ? " 

" No, father, it was not" 

" Then it was not about Julian ? " 

" About Julian ? Certainly not." 

" Nor about some village girl ? " 

" Nor about any village girl, as I have said." 

" Then what was it about ? or rather, about whom was 
it?" 

"There is no reason why you should not know," an 
swered Anthony, with coolness, " though that is a side 
matter. Fox told me that a suitable ornament for my cap 
was a coxcomb. That is why I struck him." 

The old man laughed out. " You did well to chastise 
him for that" 

" As you asked what girl's name was brought up, I will 
tell you," said Anthony. " It was that of Urith Malvine." 

" Urith Malvine ! " scoffed old Cleverdon, his eyes 
twinkling malevolently. " Not surprised at that light 
hussy bringing herself into men's mouths in a tavern." 

" Father ! " exclaimed the young man, " not a word 
against her. I will not bear that from you or from any 
man." 

" You will not bear it ! " almost screamed old Anthony. 
" You you ! make yourself champion of a beggar brat 
like that ? " 

" Did you hear my words?" said the young man, stand 
ing up. " No one not even you shall speak against her. 
It was because Fox sneered at her that I struck him ; he 
might have scoffed at me, and I would have passed that 
over." 

" And you threaten me ? You will knock out my eye 
with your tags ? " 

"I merely warn you, father, that I will not suffer her 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 113 

name to be improperly used. I cannot raise my hand 
against you, but I will leave the room." 

" It is high time you were married. By the Lord ! you 
shall be married. I will not be rasped like this." 

"I will marry when I see fit," said Anthony. 

" The fitness is now," retorted his father. " When a 
young gallant begins to squabble at village mug-houses 
about " 

"Father!" 

" The near time is ripe. I will see Squire Crymes about 
it to-morrow." 

" I am not going to take Julian Crymes." 

" You shall take whom I choose." 

"I am to marry not you, father ; accordingly, the choice 
lies with me." 

"You cannot choose against my will." 

" Can I not ? I can choose where I list." 

" Anyhow, you cannot take where I do not allow. I will 
never allow of a wife to you who is not of good birth and 
rich." 

" Of good birth she is she whom I have chosen ; rich 
she is not, but what matters that when I have enough." 

" Are you mad ? " screamed the old man, springing from 
his chair and running up and down the room, in wild ex 
citement. " Are you mad ? Do you dare tell me you have 
chosen without consulting me without regard for my 
wishes ? " 

" I shall take Urith, or none at all." 

"Then none at all," snapped old Cleverdon. "Never, 
never will I consent to your bringing that hussy through 
my doors, under my roof." 

" What harm has she done you ? You have not heard a 
word against her. She is not rich, but not absolutely poor 
she has, or will have, Willsworthy. " 

" Willsworthy ! What is that compared with Julian's 
inheritance ? " 

" It is nothing. But I don't want Julian, and I will not 
take her for the sake of her property. Come, father, sit 
down, and let us talk this matter coolly and sensible." 

He threw himself into a chair, and laid his hands on the 
arms, and stretched his legs before him. 

The Squire stopped, looked at his son, then staggered 
8 



114 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

back to bis chair as if be had been struck in the breast 
He thought his son must have lost his wits. Why he had 
not known this girl, this daughter of his most deadly ene 
my, not more than a day, and already he was talking of 
making her his wife ! And this, too, to the throwing over 
of his grand opportunity of uniting the Kil worthy property 
to Hull ! 

" Come, father, sit down, and keep cool. I am sorry if 
you prefer Julian to Urith, but unfortunately the selection 
has to be made, not by you, but by me, nnd I greatly pre 
fer Urith to Julian. Indeed, I will not have the latter at 
any price not if she inherited all the Abbey lands of Tav- 
istock. You are disappointed, but you will get over it 
When you come to know Urith you will like her ; she has 
lost her father and she will find one in you." 

" Never ! " gasped the old man ; then with an oath, as 
be beat his fist on the table, " Never ! " 

Bessie heard that high words were being cast about in 
the supper-room, and she opened the door and came in 
with a candle, on the pretence that she desired to have the 
table cleared if "her brother had done his meal. 

"You may have all taken away," said Anthony. "My 
father has destroyed what appetite I had." 

" Your appetite," stormed the old man, " is after most 
unwholesome diet ; you turn from the rich acres to the 
starving peat-bog. By heaven ! I will have you shut up in 
a mad-house along with your wench. I will have a sum 
mons out against her at once. I will go to Fernando 
Cry rues for it it is sheer witchcraft You have not seen 
her to speak to half-a-dozen times. You never came to 
know her at all till you had played the fool with her father's 

grave, and now . By Heaven, it is witchcraft ! Folks 

have been burnt for lighter cases than this." 

Bessie went over to her father, and put her arms round 
him, but, he thrust her away. She looked appealingly to 
her brother, but Anthony did not catch her eye. 

"I do not see what you have against Urith," said Antho 
ny, after a long pause, during which the old man sat quiv 
ering with excitement, working his hands up and down on 
the arms of his chair, as though polishing them. " That she 
is not rich is no fault of hera I have seen her often, and 
have now and then exchanged a word with her, though 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 115 

only yesterday came to see much of her, and have a long 
talk with her. I did her a great wrong by my desecration 
of her father's grave." 

" Oh ! you would make that good by marrying the 
daughter. Well, you have put out Fox's eye. Patch that 
up by marrying his sister." The old man's voice shook 
with anger. 

Anthony exercised unusual self-control. He knew that 
he had reached a point in his life when he must not act 
with rashness ; he saw that his father's Opposition was 
more serious than he had anticipated. Hitherto he had but 
to express a wish, and it was yielded to. Occasionally he 
had had differences with the old man, but had invariably, in 
the end, carried out his own point. He did not doubt, even 
now, that finally his father would give way, but clearly not 
till after a battle of unusual violence ; but it was one in 
which he was resolved not to yield. His passion for Urith 
was of sudden and also rapid growth, but was strong and 
sincere. Moreover, he had pledged himself to her, and 
could not draw back. 

Bessie was resolved, at all costs, to divert the wrath of 
her father from Anthony, if possible to turn his thoughts 
into another channel ; so she said, stooping to his ear, 

"Father; dear father! We met to-day our grandmother 
in the churchyard." 

The old man looked inquiringly at her. 

"Madame Penwarne," exclaimed Bessie. 

He had forgotten for the moment that she could have a 
grandmother on any other side than his own, and he knew 
that his mother was long dead. 

" Yes, father," said Bessie. " And she says Anthony is 
the living image of our dear, dear mother." 

The old man turned his eyes slowly on his son. The 
light of the candlo was on his face, bold, haughty, defiant, 
and wonderfully handsome. Yes ! he was the very image 
of his mother, and that same defiant smile he had inherited 
from her. The old man in a moment recalled many a wild 
scene of mutual reproach and stormy struggle. It was as 
though the dead woman's spirit had risen up against him 
to defy him once more, and to strike him to the heart. 

Then Anthony said, "It is true, father. We both of us 
met her : and it is unfit that she should find a shelter else- 



116 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

where than in this house. Something must be done for 
her." 

" Oh ! you will teach me my duty ! She is naught to 
me." 

"But to us she ia She is the mother of our mother," 
answered Anthony, looking straight into his father's eyes, 
and the old man lowered his ; he felt the reproach in his 
son's words and glance. 

Then he clenched his hands and teeth, and stood up, 
and wrung his hands together. 

Presently, with a gasp, he said, "Because I married a 
beggar, is this mating with beggars to be a curse in the 
family from generation to generation, entailed from father 
to son. It shall not be ; by heaven ! it shall not be. You 
have had your own way too long, Anthony ! I have borne 
with your whimsies, because they were harmless. Now you 
will wreck your own happiness, your honour, make your 
self the laughing-stock of the whole country ! I will save 
you from yourself. Do you hear me ? I tried the sport, 
and it did not answer. I had wealth and she beauty, and 
beauty alone. It did not answer. We were cat and dog 
your mother and I. Bessie knows it. She can bear me 
witness. I will not suffer this house to be made a hell of 
again." 

"Father," said Anthony, "it was not that which caused 
you unhappiness it was that you had interfered with the 
love of two who had given their hearts to each other." 

Bessie threw herself between her father and brother. 
" Oh, Anthony ! Anthony ! " she cried. 

" You say that ! " exclaimed the old man. 

" I do and now I warn you not to do the same thing. 
Urith and I love each other, and will have each other." 

" I tell you I hate the girl she shall never come here." 

"Father," said Anthony his pulses were beating like a 
thundering furious sea against cliffs, as a raging gale fling 
ing itself against the moorland tors " father, I see why it 
is that you are against Urith. You nourish against her the 
bitterness you felt against her father. You laughed and 
were pleased when I had dishonoured his grave. That 
surprised me. Now I understand all, and now I am forced 
to speak out the truth. You did a wrong in taking our 
mother away from him whom she loved, and then you ill- 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 117 

treated her when you had her in your power. You have 
nothing else against Urith nothing. That she is poor is 
no crime." 

Bessie clasped her arms about the old man. "Do not 
listen to him," she said. " He forgets his duty to you, 
only because he has been excited and wronged to-day." 
Then to her brother : " Anthony ! do not forget that he is 
your father, to whom reverence is due." 

Anthony remained silent for a couple of minutes, then 
he stood up from his chair, and went over to the old man. 
" I was wrong," he said. " I should not have spoken thus. 
Come, father, we have had little puffs between us, never 
such a bang as this. Let it be over ; no more about the 
matter between us for a day or two, till Ave are both cool." 

"I will make an end of this affair at once," said Squire 
Cleverdon. " What is the good of putting off what must 
be said ? of expecting a change which will never take 
place. You shall never never obtain my consent. So 
give up the hussy, or you shall rue it." 

"Nothing is gained, father, by threatening me. You 
must know that. I have made up my mind." He folded 
his arms on his breast. 

" And so have I mine," answered old Cleverdon, folding 
his arms. 

Father and son stood opposite each other, hard and fixed 
in their resolves both men of indomitable, inflexible de 
termination. 

"Hear mine," said the Squire ; "you give the creature 
up. Do you hear ? " 

" I hear and refuse. I will not, I cannot give up Urith. 
I have pledged my word." 

" And here I pledge mine ! " shouted the old man. 

" No no, in pity, father ! Oh, Anthony, leave the room ! " 
pleaded Bessie, again interposing, but again ineffectually ; 
her brother swept her aside, and refolded his arms, con 
fronting his father. 

" Say on ! " he said, with his eyes fixed on the old man. 

"I swear by all I hold sacred," exclaimed the father, 
"that I will never suffer that beggar-brat to cross my 
threshold. Now you know my resolution. As long as I 
am alive, she shall be kept' from it by my arms, and I shall 
take care that she shall never rule here when I am gone, 



118 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Now you know my mind, marry her or not as you please. 
That is my last word to you." 

"Your last word to me!" repeated Anthony. He set 
his hat ou his head, the hat in which hung the utterly 
withered marsh marigolds. "Very well ; so be it" He 
walked to the door, passed through, and slammed it behind 
him. 



CHAPTER XVL 

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER. 

Luke Cleverdon walked slowly, with head bowed, to 
wards Willsw&rthy. The day was not warm, a cold east 
wind was blowing down from the moor over the lowlands 
to the west, but his brow was beaded with large drops. 

Anthony had come to him the night before, and. had 
asked to be lodged. He had fallen out with his father, 
and refused to remain at Hall. Luke knew the reason. 
Anthony had told him. Anthony had told him more that 
Urith was going to request his, Luke's, intercession with 
her mother. 

Neither Anthony nor Urith had the least suspicion of the 
burden they were laying on the young man. It was his 
place, thought Anthony, to do what could be done to fur 
ther his Anthony's wishes. Luke was under an obliga 
tion to the family, and must make himself useful to it when 
required. That he should employ his mediation to obtain 
an end entirely opposed to the wishes of the old man who 
had housed and fed, and had educated him, did not strike 
Anthony as preposterous. For the moment, the interests, 
credit of the family were centred in the success of his own 
suit for Urith, his own will was the paramount law, which 
must be obeyed. 

Urith thought of Luke as a friend and companion, very 
dear to her, but in quite another way from that in which 
she regarded Anthony. Luke had been to her a comrade 
in childhood, and she looked on him with the same child 
like regard that she had given him when they were chil 
dren ; with her this regard uever ripened into a warmer 
feeling. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 119 

Anthony had slept soundly during the night. Care for 
the future, self-reproach, or self-questioning over the past 
had not troubled him. His father would come round. He 
had always given way hitherto. He had attempted bluster 
and threats, but the bluster was nothing, the threats would 
never be carried out. In a day or two at the furthest, the 
old man would come to the parsonage, ask to see him, and 
yield to his son's determination. 

"I don't ask him to marry Urith," argued Anthony. 
" So there is no reason why he should lie on his back and 
kick and scratch. There is no sense in him. He will 
come round in time, and Bessie will do what she can for 
me." 

But Luke had not slept. He was tortured with doubts, 
in addition to the inward conflicts with his heart. He 
asked himself, had he any right to interfere to promote 
this union, which was so strongly opposed by the father 
so utterly distasteful to him ? And, again, was it to the 
welfare of his cousin, and, above all, of Urith, that it should 
take place ? 

He knew the character of both Urith and Anthony. He 
was well aware how passionate at times, how sullen at 
others, she was wont to be. He attributed her sullenness 
to the nagging, teasing tongue, and stupid mismanagement 
of her mother, and the blunderheadedness of her uncle 
interfering with her liberty where they should have al 
lowed her freedom, crossing her in matters where she 
should have been suffered to follow her own way, and let 
ting her go wild in those directions in which she ought to 
have been curbed. He knew that this mismanagement had 
made her dogged and defiant. 

He knew, also, how that his cousin, Anthony, had been 
pampered and flattered, till he thought himself much more 
than he was ; did not know the value of money ; was wil 
ful, impetuous, and intolerant of opposition. Would not 
two such headstrong natures, when brought together, be 
as flint and steel? Moreover, Luke knew that Anthony 
Irid been regarded on all sides as the proper person to take 
Julian Crymes. It had been an open secret that such 
an arrangement was contemplated by the parents on both 
sides, and the young people had, in a measure, acquiesced 
in it. Anthony had shown Julian attentions which were 



120 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

only allowable on such an understanding. He may have 
meant nothing by them ; nevertheless, they had been suffi 
ciently marked to attract observation, and perhaps to lead 
1 he girl herself to conclude that his heart was touched, and 
that he pnly tarried a few years to enjoy his freedom be 
fore engaging himself. 

But Luke was so sensitively conscientious that he feared 
his own jealousy of his cousin was prompting these sus 
picions and doubts ; and he felt that his own heart was 
too perturbed for him at present to form a cool and inde 
pendent survey of the situation. 

As he expected and feared, so was it. Urith arrested 
him on the way up the hill to Willsworthy. She knew he 
would come to see her mother, and was on the lookout for him. 
She asked him to plead her cause for her, and in his irre 
solution he accepted the office, against his better judgment, 
moved thereto by the thought that he was thus doing vio 
lence to his own heart, and most effectually trampling 
down and crushing under heel his own wishes, unformed 
though these wishes were. 

Luke found Mistress Malvine in her bedroom. She had 
been greatly weakened by the fit on the previous morning, 
still more so by the exhaustion consequent on the visits of 
the afternoon. However ill and feeble she might be, her 
tongue alone retained its activity, and so long as she could 
talk she was unconscious of her waning powers. In the 
tranquillity that followed, when her acquaintances and sym 
pathisers had withdrawn, great prostration ensued. But 
she had somewhat rallied on the following morning, and 
was quite ready to receive Luke Cleverdon when an 
nounced. 

She was in her bed, and he was shocked to observe the 
change that had come over her. She held out her hand to 
him. "Ah, Master Luke!" she sighed, "I have need of 
comfort after what I have gone through ; and I am grate 
ful that you have come to see me. "Whatever will become 
of my poor daughter when I am gone ! I have been think 
ing and thinking, and wishing that it had pleased God you 
were her brother, that I might have entrusted her into 
your hands. 'You were here and saw how she went on and 
took sides with that Son of Belial, that Anthony, when he 
came concerning the grave of my dear husband. She has 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 121 

no heart, that child. I know she will be glad when I am 
gone, and will dance on iny tomb. I have not spared her 
advice and counsel, nor have I ever let her go, when I have 
my rebuke to administer, under half an hour by the 
clock." 

"Madam," said the young curate, "do not now make 
boast of the amount of counsel and admonition you have 
administered ; it is even possible that this may have been 
overdone, and may have had somewhat to do with the temper 
of your daughter. It is now a time for you to consider 
whether you are prepared, should it please God to call 
you" 

"Oh ! " exclaimed Mrs. Malvine, "I am thankful to say 
I am always prepared. I have done my duty to my hus 
band, to my brother, and my child. As for Urith, I have 
perfectly fed her with my opinions on her conduct in every 
position and chance of life. My brother has, I am sure, 
also not to charge me with ever passing it over when he 
comes home drunk, or gets drunk off our cider, which is 
no easy matter, but it can be done with application. I 
have always, and at length, and with vehemence, told him 
what I think of his conduct." 

" You must consider," said the curate, without allowing 
himself to be drawn into admiration for the good qualities 
of the sick woman, " you must consider, madam, not how 
much you have harangued and scolded others, but how 
much you deserve rebuke yourself." 

" I have never spared myself, heaven knows ! I have 
worked hard I have worked harder than any slave. There 
are five large jars of last year's whortleberry jam still un 
opened in the store-room. I can die happy, whenever I 
have to die, and not a sheet unhemmed, and we have 
twenty-four." 

" There are other matters to think of," said Luke, grave 
ly, "than whortleberry jam five pots, sheets twenty-four, 
rebuke of others unmeasured, incalculable. You have to 
think of what you have left undone." 

" There is nothing," interrupted the sick woman, " but 
a few ironmoulds in Solomon's shirts, which came of a 
nail in the washing-tray. I gave the woman who washed 
a good piece of my mind about that, because she ought to 
have seen the nail. But I'll get salt of lemon and take that 



122 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

out, if it please the Lord to raise ine up again ; at the 
s;ime time, I'll turn the laundress away." 

" It is by no means unlikely that heaven will not raise 
you up," said the curate, "and in your present condition, 
instead of thinking of dismissing servants for an oversight, 
you should consider whether you have never left undone 
those things which you ought to have done." 

"I never have," answered the widow, with disdain, " ex 
cept once. I ought to have had Solomon's dog Toby hung, 
but I was too good, too tender-hearted, and I did not. The 
dog scratched, and was swarming with fleas. Solomon 
never cared to have him kept clean, and I told him if he did 
not I would have Toby hung, but I did not. I have, I ad 
mit, this on my conscience. But, Lord ! you ;ire not com 
forting me at nil, and a minister of the Word should pour 
the balm of Gilead into the wounds of the sick. Now, if 
you would have Urith up and give her a good reprimand, 
and Solomon also, and if you would hang that dog that 
would be a comfort to my soul, and I could die in peace." 

" With your complaint, Mistress Malvine, you must be 
ready to die at any moment whether in a true or false 
peace depends on your preparation. I am not here to 
lecture your brother and daughter, and hang a dog because 
it has fleas, but to bid you search and examine your own 
conscience, and see whether there be not therein inordi-, 
nate self-esteem, and whether you have not encouraged 
the censorious spirit within you till you have become blind 
to all your own defects, in your eagerness to pull motes out 
of the eyes of others." 

" There ! bless me ! " exclaimed the widow. " Did you 
hear that ? The soot has fallen down the chimney. I told 
Solomon to have the chimney swept, and, as usual, he has 
neglected to see to it. I'll send for him and give him what 
I think ; perhaps," she added, in a querulous tone, " when 
he considers that the words come from a dying sister he 
may be more considerate in future, and have chimneys 
swept regularly." 

" I have," said the young curate, " one question on which 
I require an answer. Are you in charity with all the world ? 
Do you forgive all those who have trespassed against you ? " 

"I am the most amiable person in the world, that is 
why I am so imposed on, and Solomon, and Urith, and the 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 120 

maids, and the men take such advantage of me. There is 
that dog, under the bed, scratching. I hear it, I feel it. Do, 
prithee, Master Luke, take the tongs and go under the 
bed after it. How can I have peace and rest whilst Toby 
is under the bed, and I know the state his hair is in ? " 

" You say you are on terms of charity with all the world. 
I conclude that you from your heart forgive my cousin 
Anthony his unconsiderate act on St. Mark's Eve." 

" What ! " exclaimed the sick woman, striving to rise in 
her bed, "I forgive him that never no, so help me 
Heaven, never." 

" So help you Heaven ! " said Luke, starting up, and 
answering in an authoritative tone, whilst zeal-inspired 
wrath flushed his pale face. " So help you Heaven, do you 
dare to say, you foolish woman ! Heaven will help to for 
give, never help to harbour an unforgiving spirit. If you 
do not pardon such a trespass, committed unintentionally, 
you will not be forgiven yours." 

"1 have none none to signify, that I have not settled 
with Heaven long ago," said the widow, peevishly. " I 
wish, Master Luke, you would not worry me. I need com 
fort, not to be vexed on my deathbed." 

" I ask you to forgive Anthony, will j-ou do so ? " 

She turned her face away. 

"Now listen to me, madam. He has fallen into dis 
grace with his father. He has had to leave his home, and 
his father will have no word with him." 

" I rejoice to hear it." 

"And the reason is this the young man loves your 
daughter Urith." He paused, and wiped his brow. 

The widow turned her face round, full of quickened at 
tention. 

" That he did not purpose a dishonour to the grave you 
may be assured, when you know that he seeks the hand of 
Urith. How could one who loves think to advance his suit 
by an outrage on the father's memory? It was an accident, 
an accident he deplores most heartily. He will make what 
amends he can. Give him your daughter, and then he will 
have the right of a son-in-law to erect a handsome and 
suitable tomb to your husband, and his father." 

As he spoke, he heard the steps creak, Urith was ascend 
ing the stairs, coming to her mother, to throw herself on 



1-24: URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

her knees at her side, clasp her hand, and add her entreaties 
to those of Luke Cleverdon. 

" Help me up ! " said Mrs. Malvine. 

Then the curate put his arm to her, and raised her into 
a sitting position. Her face had altered its expression 
from peevishness to anger. It was grey, with a green tinge 
about the nose and lips, the lines from the nostrils to the 
chin were deep and dark. Her eyes had a hard, threaten 
ing, metallic glimmer in them. 

At that moment Urith appeared in the doorway. Luke 
stood, with his hand to his chin, and head bowed, looking 
at the woman. 

" You are here, Urith ! " said she, holding out her hand 
towards her spread out "You have dared dared to love 
the man who has dishonoured your father's grave. You 
have come here to ask me to sanction and bless this love." 
She gasped for breath. Her face was livid, haggard ; but 
her dark eyes were literally blazing shooting out deadly- 
cold glares of hate. The sweat-drops ran oft' her brow and 
dropped upon the sheet. The lips were drawn from the 
teeth. There was in her appearance something of unearthly 
horror. "You shall never never obtain from me what 
you want. If you have any respect for your father's name 
any love lingering in your heart for the mother that 
bore you you will shake him off, and never speak td 
him again." She remained panting, and gulping, and 
shivering. So violent was her emotion that it suffocated 
her. 

"I know," she continued, in a lower tone, and with her 
hands flat on the coverlet before her, "what you do not 
how my life has been turned to wormwood. His mother 
stood between me and my happiness between me and 
your father's heart ; and, after what I have endured, shall 
I forgive that? Aye, and a double injury the wrong done 
by Margaret Penwarne's son to my husband's grave? 
Never ! " 

She began to move herself in bed, as though trying to 
scramble up into a standing posture, and again her hand 
was threateningly extended. "Never never shall this 
come about. Urith ! I charge you 

The girl, alarmed, ran towards her mother. The old 
woman warned her back. " What ! will you do violence to 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 125 

me to stay my words ? Will you throttle me to prevent 
them from coming out of my lips?" 

Again she made an effort to rise, and scrambled to her 
knees : "I pray heaven, if he dares to enter my doors, that 
he may be struck down on my hearth lifeless ! " 

She gave a gasp, shivered, and fell back on the bed. 

She was dead. 



CHAPTEK XVH 

THE COUSINS. 

Some days passed. Mistress Malvine had been buried. 
No direct communication had taken place between Anthony 
and his father. The gentle Bessie, full of distress at the 
breach, had done what she could to heal it ; but ineffectu 
ally. Each was too proud and obstinate to make the first 
advance. Bessie's influence with her father was of the 
slightest he had never showed love towards his plain 
daughter ; and Anthony was too much of a man, in his own 
idea, to allow himself to be guided by a woman. Luke was 
perplexed more than ever. Urith was now left wholly 
without proper protection. Her uncle was worse than 
useless an element of disorder in the household, and of 
disintegration in the pecuniary affairs of the family. The 
estate of Willsworthy did not come to him. It had belonged 
to his mother, and from his mother had gone to his sister, 
and now passed to his niece. It was a manor that seemed 
doomed to follow the spindle. But, though it had not 
become his property, he was trustee and guardian for his 
niece till she married ; and a more unsatisfactory trustee 
or improper guardian could hardly have been chosen. He 
was, indeed, an amiable, well-intentioned man ; but was 
weak, and over-fond of conviviality and the society of his 
social inferiors, from whom alone he met with deference. 
He had been brought up to the profession of the law ; but, 
on his father's death, had thrown up what little work had 
come to him that he might be with his mother and sister, 
as manager of the estate. When his sister married Richard 
Malvine he was again thrown on his own resources, and 



126 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

lived mainly on subventions from his sister and friends, 
nnd a little law business that he picked up and misman 
aged, till his brother-in-law died, when he returned to 
Willsworthy, to the mismanagement of that property which 
Richard Malviue had barely recovered from the disorder 
and deterioration into which it had been brought by Solo 
mon Gibbs's previous rule. The old fellow was unable to 
stick to any sort of work, to concentrate his thoughts for 
ten minutes on any object, was irresolute, and swayed by 
those with whom he associated. His sister lectured and 
scolded him, and he bore her rebuke with placid amiability, 
and promises of amendment ; promises that were never 
fulfilled. One great source of annoyance to his sister was 
his readiness to talk over all family matters at the tavern 
with his drinking comrades, to explain his views as to what 
was to be done in every contingency, and dilate on the 
pecuniary difficulties of his sister, and his schemes for the 
remedy of the daily deepening impecuniosity. This public 
discussion of the affairs of the family had done much to 
bring it into disrepute. Those who heard Mr. Gibbs over 
his cups retailed what they heard to their friends and 
wives with developments of their own, and the whole 
neighbourhood had come to believe that the Malvines were 
a family irretrievably lost, and that Willsworthy was a poor 
and intractable estate. Those who used their eyes as 
Crymes did not share in this latter opinion, they saw that 
the property was deteriorated by mismanagement, but they 
all readily accepted the opinion that bankruptcy was inevi 
table to the possessors at that time of Willsworthy. 

Luke Cleverdon, knowing all the circumstances, and hav 
ing gauged the character and abilities of Solomon Gibbs, 
was anxious concerning the future of Urith. She had ten 
dered a dubious, sullen, and irregular submission to her 
mother, but was not likely to endure the capricious, unin 
telligent domination of her uncle. His sister had, moreover, 
exercised a very considerable restraint on Solomon. He 
always lived in wholesome dread of her tongue ; when re 
lieved of eveiy restraint, there was no reckoning on what 
he might do with the money scraped together. Urith her 
self was unaccustomed to managing a house. Her mother 
had been an admirable disciplinarian in the house, and 
kept everything there in order, and Urith had run wil<l. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 127 

Her mother had not attempted to join her with herself in 
domestic management, and had driven the girl into a 
chronic condition of repressed revolt by her unceasing 
fault-finding. The girl had kept herself outside the house, 
had spent her time on the moors to escape the irritation 
and rebellion provoked by her mother's tongue. 

The only tolerable solution would have been for Luke to 
have made Urith his wife, and taken on himself the man 
agement of the property, but such a solution was now im 
possible, for Urith's heart was engaged. It had never been 
a possibility to Luke's imagination, for he had sufficient 
cool judgment to be quite sure that he and Urith would 
never agree. He was quiet, reserved, devoted to his books 
or to antiquarian researches on the moor, and she had an 
intractable spirit at one time sullen, at another frantic 
with which he could not cope. 

Besides this uncon geniality of temperament, he had no 
knowledge of or taste for agricultural pursuits, and to re 
cover Willsworthy a man was needed who was a practical 
farmer and acquainted with business. If he were, more 
over, to live at Willsworthy and devote himself to the es 
tate, he must abandon his sacred calling, and this Luke 
could not justify to his conscience. The choice of Urith, 
fallen on Anthony, was unobjectionable as far as suitability 
for the place went. Anthony had been reared on a farm, 
and was familiar with all that pertained to agriculture. 
He had energy, spirit, and judgment. But the strong un 
reasoning opposition of old Squire Cleverdon, and the re 
fusal of Urith's mother to consent to it, made Luke resolve 
to do nothing to further the union. 

Luke spoke to Anthony on the matter, but was met with 
airy assurance. The old man must come round, it was but 
a matter of time, and as Mistress Malvine was but recently 
dead, it could not be that the daughter should marry at 
once. There must ensue delay, and during this delay 
old Cleverdon would gradually accustom himself to the 
prospect, and his anger cool. 

Time passed, and no tokens of yielding on the part of 
the father appeared. Luke spoke again to his cousin. 
Now Anthony's tone was somewhat altered. His father 
was holding out because he believed that by so doing he 
would prevent the marriage, but he was certain to relent 



128 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

as soon as the irrevocable step had been taken. Just as 
David mourned and wept as long as the child was sick, but 
washed his face, aud ate and accommodated himself to the 
situation when the child was dead, so would it be with the 
Squire. He would sulk and threaten so long as Anthony 
was meditating matrimony, but no sooner was he married 
than the old man would ask them all to dinner, kiss, aud 
be jolly. 

Luke by no means shared his cousin's sanguine views. 
Mistress Penwarne was in the house, and from her he 
learnt the circumstances of the marriage and subsequent 
disagreement of old Anthony and Margaret ; and he could 
to some extent understand the dislike the old Squire had 
to his son's marrying the daughter of his rival He knew 
the hard, relentless, envious nature of the man, he had 
suffered from it himself, and he doubted whether it would 
yield as young Anthony anticipated. It was true that 
Anthony was the Squire's son and heir, that he was the 
keystone to the great triumphal Cleverdon arch the old 
man had been rearing in imagination ; it was certain that 
there would be a struggle in his heart between his pride 
and his love. Luke was by no means confident that old 
Cleverdon's affection for his son would prove so mastering 
a passion as to overcome the many combined emotions 
which were in insurrection within him against this union, 
and impelling him to maintain his attitude towards his son 
of alienation and hostility. 

When Luke spoke to Anthony of the difficulties that stood 
in his way, Anthony burst forth impatiently with the words, 
" It is of no use you talking to me like this, cousin. I 
have made up my mind, I will have Urith as my wife. I 
love her, and she loves me. What does it matter that 
there are obstacles? Obstacles have to be surmounted. 
My father will come round. As to Urith's mother, the 
old woman was prejudiced, she was angry. She knows 
better now, and is sorry for what she said." 

" How do you know that ? " 

" Oh ! of course it is so." 

" But do you suppose that Urith will go in opposition to 
her mother's dying wish ? " 

" She will make no trouble over that, I reckon. Words 
are wind they break no bones. I appeal from Alexander 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 129 

drunk to Alexander sober, from the ill-informed and 
peppery old woman, half -crazed on her death-bed, to 
the same in her present condition. Will that content 
you?" 

" You have not spoken to Urith on this matter ? " 

" No I have not seen her since the funeral. I have had 
that much grace in me. But I will see her to-day, I swear 
to you. I will tell you what I think," said Anthony, with 
vehemence. " You are as cold-blooded as an eel. You have 
never loved all your interest is in old stones, and pots and 
pans dug up out of cairns. You love them in a frozen 
fashion, and have no notion what is the ardour of human 
hearts loving each other. So you make one difficulty on 
another. Why, Cousin Luke, if there were mountains of 
ice I would climb over them, seas of fire, I would wade 
through them, to Urith. Neither heaven nor hell shall 
separate us." 

" Do not speak like this," said the curate, sternly. "It 
is a tempting of Providence." 

"Providence brought us together and set us ablaze. 
Providence is bound to finish the good work and unite us." 

" There has been neither consideration nor delay in this 
matter, and Providence, maybe, raises these barriers against 
which you kick." 

"I will kick them over," said Anthony. 

"Yes," said Luke, with a touch of bitterness ; "always 
acting with passion and inconsideration. Nothing but head 
long folly would have led you to do violence to Master Mai- 
vine's grave. The same rash impetuosity made you injure 
Fox Crymes' eye ; and now you will throw yourself head 
long into a state of life which involves the welfare of an 
other, just because you have a fancy in your head that may 
pass as quickly as it has arisen." 

"I am not going to listen to a sermon. This is not Sun 
day." 

"I do not believe you will make Urith happy." 

" No, not in the fashion you esteem happiness. Certainly 
not in that. In gi'ubbing into barrows after old pots and 
counting grey stones on the moor. No. Urith would gape 
and go to sleep over such dull happiness as this. But I and 
she understand happiness in other sort from you. We shall 
manage somehow to make each other happy, and I defy my 
9 



130 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

father and the ghost of old Madam Malvine to stand be 
tween us and spoil our bliss." 

Luke bowed his head over the table, and put his hand 
before his eyes, that his cousin might not observe the emo 
tion that stirred him at these cutting but thoughtlessly 
uttered words of his cousin. He did not answer at once. 
After some pause he said, without looking up, "Yes, you 
may be happy together after your fashion, but something 
more than passion is wanted to found a household, and that 
is, as Scripture tells us, the blessing of the parents." 

" My father is all right," said Anthony. " He has set his 
head on my uniting Kilworthy to Hall, and trebling the 
family estate. He can't have that, so he is growling. But 
Urith does not come empty ; she has Willsworthy. If we 
do not extend the kingdom of Cleverdon in one direction, 
we shall in another. My father will see that in time, and 
come round. The weathercock does not always point to the 
east ; we shall have a twist about, a few rains, and a soft 
west, warm breeze of reconciliation. I will make you a bet 
what will you take ? " 

" I take no bets ; I ask you to consider. In marriage 
each side brings something to the common fund. What 
do you bring ? Urith has Willsworthy." 

"And I HalL" 

"No ; recollect your father's threat." 

" It was but a threat he never meant it." 

" Suppose he did mean it, and perseveres ; you will then 
have to be the receiver, not the giver." 

" The place is gone to the dogs. I can give my arms and 
head to it, and bring it round from .the kennel." 

"That is something, certainly. Then, again, you are 
wilful, and have had your way in all things. How will you 
agree with a girl equally wilful and unbending ? " 

"In the best way; we shall both will the same things. 
You don't understand what love is. Where two young 
creatures love, they do not strive, they pull together. It is 
of no profit talking to you, Luke, about love ; it is to you 
what Hebrew or Greek would be to me an unintelligible 
language in unreadable characters. I will be off to see 
Urith at once." 

"No," said Luke, "you must not go to Willsworthy; 
you will cause folks to talk," 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR, 131 

"I care nothing for their talk." 

"If you care nothing for what people say, how is it you 
fell out with and struck Fox ? You must consider others 
besides yourself. You have no right to bring the name of 
Urith into discredit. Do you not suppose that already 
tongues are busy concerning the cause of your quarrel with 
your father ? " 

" But I must see her, and come to some understanding." 

" I will go to Willsworthy at once, and speak to her of 
your matter. I have not done so hitherto I have only 
sought to comfort her on the death of her mother." 

" I do not desire a go-between," said Anthony, peevishly. 
" In these concerns none can act like the principals." 

" But I cannot suffer you to go. You must think of 
Urith's good name, and not have that any more put into the 
mouths of those who go to the pot-house. It has been 
done more than enough already. Stay here till I return." 

Luke took up his three-corner hat and his stick and went 
forth. On reaching Willsworthy he did not find Urith in 
the house, but ascertained from a maid-servant that she was 
in the walled garden. Thither he betook himself across 
the back courtyard. The rooks were making a great noise 
in the sycamores outside. 

He found the girl seated on the herb-bank in the neg 
lected garden, with her head on her hand, deep in thought. 
She was pale, and her face drawn ; but the moment she saw 
Luke she started up and flushed. 

" I am so glad you are come. You will tell me something 
about Anthony ?" 

She was only glad to see him because he would speak of 
Anthony, thought Luke ; and it gave a pang to his heart. 

" Yes," said he, taking a seat beside her, "I will speak 
to you about Anthony." 

She looked him full in the face out of her large, earnest, 
dark eyes. " Is it true," she asked, " what I have been 
told, that he has fallen out with his father, and is driven 
from Hall?" 

" He has taken himself off from Hall," answered Luke, 
" on your account. His father refuses to countenance his 
attachment to you." 

" Then where is he ? With you ? " 

" Yes, with me, I have come to know your mind. He 



132 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

cannot always remain with me and at variance with his 
father." 

" On my account this has happened ? " she said. 

" Yes, on your account. How is this to end ? " 

She put her hands to her brow, and pressed her temples. 
"I am pulled this way and that," she answered, "and I feel 
as if I should go mad. But I have made my resolve, I will 
give him up. I have been an undutiful daughter always, 
and now I will obey my mother's last wishes. In that 
one thing that will cost me most, I will submit, and so 
atone for the wrong I did all the years before." 

" Then you determine to give up Anthony, wholly ? " 

The colour came and went in her cheek, then deserted it 
entirely. She clasped her hands over her knee she had 
reseated herself and she said in a low voice, " Wholly." 

" You give me authority to tell him this ? " 

" Yes. It can never be that we can belong to each other 
after what my mother said. You heard. She hoped if he 
ever passed through this dooi*, that he might be struck 
dead on the hearth." 

"They were awful words," said Luke, "but " 

" They were her last words." 

Luke returned to his home and found Anthony there, 
pacing his little parlour, to work off his impatience. When 
he heard what Luke had to say, he burst into angry re 
proach. " You have spoken like a parson ! It was wrong 
for you to meddle, I knew no good would come of it ! I 
will not hear of this ! I will go to Urith myself ! " 

" You must not." 

"I will! Nothing shall stay me." He caught up his 
hat and swung out of the room. 



CHAPTER XVHL 

A LOVER AND HIS LASS. 



Anthony strode along the way to Willsworthy. That 
way took him past Cudliptown. The landlord was at the 
door of his inn. 

" What ! pass my house without a step inside ? " asked 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 133 

lie. "There's Master Sol Gibbs there and Moorman 
Ever." 

" I cannot stay," answered Anthony. 

" Oh ! " laughed the taverner, " I see ; " and he began to 
whistle a country song " An evening so clear." 

Instantly the strains of a viol-de-gamba were heard from 
within taking up the strain, and Uncle Solomon's voice 
singing lustily : 

An evening so clear 

I would that I were, 
To kiss thy soft cheek 

With the faintest of air. 
The star that is twinkling 

So brightly above, 
I would that I were 

To enlighten my love I 

Anthony walked on. His brow knitted, and he set his 
teeth. The innkeeper had guessed that he was going to 
Willsworthy, and suspected the reason. That idiot Solo 
mon Gibbs had been talking. 

As he strode along, the plaintive and sweet melody fol 
lowed him ; all that was harsh in the voice mellowed by 
the distance ; and Anthony sang to himself low, as he con 
tinued his course : 

I would I were heaven, 

O'erarching and blue, 
I'd bathe thee, my dearest, 

In freshest of dew. 
I would I the sun were, 

All radiance and glow, 
I'd pour all my splendour 

On thee, love, below ! 

He remembered how only a few weeks agone when he 
had been at the tavern with some comrades, and songs had 
been called for, he had expressed his impatience at this 
very piece, which he said was rank folly. Then he had not 
understood the yearning of the heart for the loved one, 
had not conceived of the desire to be all and everything to 
its mistress. Now he was expelled from his father's house, 
threatened with being disinherited, and was actually with- 



134 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

out money in his pocket wherewith to pay for ale or wine 
at the tavern, had he entered it. He who had been so free 
with his coin, so ready to treat others, was now unable to 
give himself a mug of ale. That was what had driven 
him past the tavern door without crossing the threshold, 
or rather that was one reason why he had resisted the in 
vitation of the host Yes he had suffered for Urith, and 
he rather plumed himself on having done so. She could 
not resist his appeal when he told her all he had risked for 
her sake. 

Besides, Anthony was stubborn. The fact of his father's 
resistance to his wish had hammered his resolution into 
inflexibility. Nothing in the world, no person alive or 
dead neither his father nor her mother should interfere 
to frustrate his will. Anthony's heart beat fast between 
anger and impatience to break down every obstacle ; he 
sang on, as he walked : 

If I were the waters 

That round the world run, 
I'd lavish my pearls on thee, 

Not keeping of one. 
If I were the summer, 

My flowers and green 
I'd heap on thy temples. 

And crown thee my Queen. 

He had reached the ascent to Willsworthy, he looked up 
the lane and saw Urith in it ; outside the entrance gates 
to the Manor House. She was there looking for her uncle, 
who had been required about some farm-business. She 
saw Anthony coming to her, with the sun glistening on him 
over the rude stone hedge hung with fern. She heard his 
song, and she knew the words she knew that he was ap 
plying them to her. For a moment she hesitated, whether 
to meet him or to retire into the house. She speedily 
formed her resolution. If there must be an interview, a 
final interview, it had better be at once, and got over. 

The evening sun was low, the moor peaks over the ma 
nor house were flushed a delicate pink, as though the 
heather were in bloom. Alas ! this year no heather would 
wrap the hills in rose flush, for it had been burnt in the 
great fire. High aloft the larks were shrilling. She could 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 135 

Lear their song in broken snatches between the strophes 
of Anthony's lay as he ascended the hill. He had seen her, 
and his voice became loud and jubilant : 

If I were a kiln, 

All fire and flame, 
I'd mantle and girdle thee 

Round with the same. 
But as I am nothing 

Save love-mazed Bill, 
Pray take of me, make of me, 

Just what you will. 

He had reached her. He held out his arms to engirdle 
her as he had threatened, and the flame leaped and danced 
in his eyes and glowed in his lips and cheek. 

She drew back proudly. 

"You have had my message ?" 

" I take no messages certainly none sent through par 
sons. The dove is the carrier between lovers, and not the 
croaking raven." 

"Perhaps it is as well," said Urith, coldly. She had 
nerved herself to play her part, but her heart was bound 
ing and beating against her sides like the Tavy in one of 
its granite pools beneath a cataract. " I sent by Master 
Luke Cleverdon to let you know that we must see each 
other no more." 

" I will take no such message. I will I must see you. 
I cannot live without." 

"My mother's wishes must be followed. I have prom 
ised to see and speak to you no more." 

" You promised ! To whom ? To her ? " 

Urith was silent. 

" I will know who twisted this promise out of you. Was 
it Luke ? If so his cassock and our cousinship shall not 
save him." 

"It was not Luke." 

" It was your mother ? " 

" I did not actually promise anything to my mother. 
But I must not shrink from telling you I have made the 
promise to myself, we can be nothing to each other." 

" Unsay the promise at once do you hear? At once." 

" I cannot do that. I made it because I considered it 



136 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

right. Your father is against our acquaintance " She 

hesitated. 

" Go on he is against our being lovers, and more against 
our marrying. But what of that ? He always gives way 
in the end, and now the only means of bringing him to 
his senses is for us to go before the altar." 

"My mother, with her hist breath, warned me from 
you." 

"I know perfectly well for what reason. My mother 
and your father were to each other what are now you and 
I ; then, by some chance, all went wrong, and each got wed 
to the wrong person. Neither was happy after that, and 
my father on one side and your mother on the other, could 
not forget this, so they have carried on the grudge to the 
next generation, and would make us do the wrong that 
they did, and give you to the Lord knows who? perhaps 
Fox Crymes ; and me, certainly, to Julian. I have seen 
what comes of wedding where the heart is elsewhere. I 
will not commit the folly my father was guilty of. Julian 
Crymes shall take another, she shall never have me. And 
you, I reckon, have no fancy for another save me ; and if 
your mother had made any scheme for you, she has taken 
it with her to the grave, and you are not tied to make your 
self unhappy thereon." 

As he spoke, Urith retreated through the gateway into 
the court, and Anthony, vehement in his purpose, followed 
her. 

They were as much alone and unobserved in the little 
court as in the lane, for only the hall windows and those 
of an unused parlour looked into it. But Anthony raised 
his voice in his warmth of feeling. " Urith," said he, " I am 
not accustomed to take a No, and what I am not accus 
tomed to I will not take." 

" No ! " she answered, and looked up, with a kindling of 
her eye. " And what I say, to that I am accustomed to 
hold ; and what I am accustomed to hold, that hold I will. 
I say No." She set her foot down. 

"And I will not take it. I throw it back. Why, look 
you, you have said Yes. We are pledged to each other. 
You and I on The Cleave. There I have you, Urith. You 
passed your word to me, and I will not release you." 

She looked on the paved ground of the court, with grass 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 137 

sprouting between the cobble-stones, and played with her 
foot on the pebbles. Her brows were contracted, and her 
lips tight closed. Presently she looked up at him steadily, 
and said 

" It is for the good of both that I withdraw that word, 
stolen from me before I had weighed and appraised its 
worth. I will not be the cause of strife between you and 
your father, and I dare not go against the last words of. 
my mother. Do you know what she said ? She prayed 
that you might be struck dead on the hearth should you 
dare enter our doors again." 

"Very well," said Anthony, " let us see what her prayer 
avails. Stand aside, Urith." 

He thrust her away and walked forward to the entrance 
of the house, then he turned and looked at her and laughed. 
The sun shone on the porch, but it was dark within. He 
put out his hands and held to the stone-jambs, and looking 
at Urith with the dazzling evening sun in his eyes, he 
said 

"See now! I defy her. I go through!" and walking 
backwards, with arms outspread, he passed in through the 
porch, then in at the second doorway. 

Urith had remained rooted to one spot, in astonishment 
and terror. Now she flew after him, and found him stand 
ing in the hall on the hearthstone, his head above the dark 
oak mantel, laughing, and with his legs wide apart, and 
his hands in his belt. 

" See, Urith ! " he jeered, " the prayers are of no avail. 
Prayers bring blessings, not curses. Here am I on the 
hearthstone, alive and well. Now will you fear an idle 
threat?" 

He laughed aloud, and broke out into a snatch of song. 

" If I were a kiln, 

All fire and flame, 
I'd mantle and girdle thee 

Round with the same." 

Then he caught her round the waist and drew her towards 
him ; but by a sharp turn she freed herself from his grasp. 
" No," she said ; "one must give way, and that shall not 
be I." 



138 URITJI: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"Nor I, "he said, resolutely , and the blood rose in his 
cheeks ; " I am wholly unwont to give way." 

"So am I." 

" Then it is which is strongest." 

" Strongest in will even so ; there I doubt if you will 
surpass me." 

" I tell you this is folly, mad folly," said Anthony, with 
violence ; " my happiness my everything depends on you. 
I have broken with my father. I am too proud to go back 
to Hall and say to him, ' Urith has cast me off, now she 
finds that I am penniless.' What am I to do ? I cannot 
dig, to beg I am ashamed, and I have no stewardship in 
which to be dishonest. If I cannot have you, I have noth 
ing to live for, nothing to work for, nothing, and no one 
to love." He stamped on the hearthstone. " By heavens, 
may I be struck dead here if only I get you, for without 
you I will not live. Let it be as your mother wished, 
so that I have you." 

She remained silent, with hands clasped, looking down 
her face set, colourless, and resolved with a certain dogged, 
sullen fixity. 

" Am I to be the laughing-stock of the parish ? " asked 
Anthony, angrily. "Turned out of Hall, turned out of 
Willsworthy ! My father will have naught to do with me 
because of Urith Malvine, and Urith Malvine will have 
naught to say to me because of Squire Cleverdon. This is 
too laughable it would be laughable if it concerned another 
than me but I am the sufferer, I am the ball tossed about 
and let drop by every hand. I will not be thus treated. I 
will not be the generally rejected. You must and you shall 
take me." 

" Listen to me, Anthony," said Urith, in tones that hardly 
vibrated, so complete was her self-control. " If you will 
not ask your father's pardon " 

" What for ? I have done him no harm." 

" Well, then, if you will not, go to your father and say 
I will not take you, and therefore all is to be as before." 

" No, that I will not do ; I will have you even against your 
will. You may give me up, but I will not so lightly let 
you fall." 

" Hear me out If you will not do this, go away from 
this place." 



URITB: A TALE Off DARTMOOR. 139 

"Whither?" 

" Nay, that is for you to decide. I should say, were I 
a man, that I could always find a where in the King's 
array." 

Anthony laughed scornfully. "In the King's forces, that 
on the accession of the Duke of York will be employed to 
put down the Protestants, and treat them as they have been 
treated in Savoy arid in France ? No, Urith, not at your 
wish will I do that ; but if the Duke of Monmouth or the 
Prince of Orange were 

Urith held up her hand. In at the door came her uncle, 
red and wine-flushed, carrying his viol. 

" Halloo ! " shouted Mr. Solomon Gibbs, " in vino veritas. 
Hussey, you don't understand Latin. I have learnt some 
thing slipped out unawares from Moorman Ever. To 
morrow What think you? A Drift." 

" A Drift ! " For the moment Urith forgot all about 
the presence of Anthony, in the excitement of the an 
nouncement. 

"A Drift ! " Anthony tossed up his head and clasped his 
hands, and forgot Urith and all else, for a moment, in the 
excitement of the announcement.^ 

" Ay," said Uncle Solomon ; " and Tom Ever would have 
bitten out his tongue when he said it,- he was so vexed." 



CHAPTER XIX. 

A DRIFT. 

A Drift ? What is a Drift ? 

The vast expanse of Dartmoor, occupying nearly a hun 
dred and fifty thousand acres, for the most part, but not 
altogether, belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. Consider 
able, and, in many cases, fraudulent encroachments have 
been made on Duchy property slices taken out of it in 
past times and the Duchy agents bribed to turn their 
eyes, away ; or simply taken and secured to the squatters 
by prerogative of long squatting unmolested. The main 
mass of moor constitutes the ancient and Royal forest of 
Dartmoor : but much waste land exists outside the forest 



140 URITII: A TALE OP DAHTMOOn. 

bounds in the possession of private owners, or as common 
land, over which the lord of the manor has but manorial 
rights. 

Around the circumference of the moor are, and always 
have been, stationed certain men having a position under 
the Duchy, corresponding to that of foresters elsewhere. 
But, as there are no trees on Dartmoor, these men have no 
care of timber ; nor have they, as foresters elsewhere, the 
custody of the deer, as there are no red deer in this Royal 
forest. Red deer there were in times past ; but they were 
all destroyed at the close of the last century, when large 
plantations were made on the moor and in its confines, be 
cause the deer killed the young trees. 

On account of the rugged and boggy nature of Dartmoor, 
no Royal hunters had come there since the Saxon kings ; 
consequently, no pains were taken to preserve the deer, 
and every rnoorman and squire neighbouring on the wilder 
ness considered that he had a right to supply himself with 
as much venison from off it as he could eat, and every 
farmer regarded himself as justified in killing the deer that 
invaded his fields and swarmed over his crops. The men 
answering to foresters ekewhere, living under the Duchy, 
and posted around the borders of the moor, inherited their 
offices, which passed in families for generations, and it is 
probable that the Evers, the Coakers, and the Widdecombes 
of to-day are the direct descendants of the moormen who 
were foresters under the Conqueror nay, possibly, in Sax 
on times. 

They are a fine-built race, fair-haired, blue-eyed, erect, 
better able to ride than to walk, are bold in speech, and 
perhaps overbearing in action, having none above them 
save God and the Prince of Wales the Duke, the only 
Duke above their horizon. 

Around the forest proper is a wide tract of common land, 
indistinguishable from moor proper, and this does not be 
long to the Duchy, but the Duchy exerts, for all that, cer 
tain rights over this belt of waste. The parishes contigu 
ous on the moor have what are termed Venville rights, 
that is to say, rights to cut turf and to free pasturage on 
the moor ; the tenants in Venville may be said to have the 
right to take anything off the moor that may do them 
good except green oak and venison, or more properly, vert 



UR1TH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 141 

and venison. This has led to the most ruthless destruction 
of prehistoric antiquities, as every farmer in Venville car 
ries away as his right any granite- stone that commends 
itself to him us a gate-post, or a pillar to prop a cowshed ; 
sheep, bullocks, and horses are turned out on Dartmoor, 
and the horses and ponies live in all weathers on the wil 
derness, defy all boundaries, and ask for no care, no shelter, 
no winter quarters. Bullocks and sheep have their lairs, 
and want to be levant and couchant, and to be cared for in 
winter, and therefore are not driven on to the moors till 
spring, and are driven off in autumn. 

The moor is divided into regions, and over each region 
is a moorman. In each quarter of the moor a special ear 
mark is required for the ponies turned out in that district, 
a round hole punched in the eai-, through which is passed 
a piece of distinguishing tape, scarlet, blue, white, and black. 
Ponies wander widely : a herd will disappear from one 
place and appear at another like magic, in search after pas- 
tui-e ; but the moormen of each region claim the fines on 
the ponies belonging to their region, and, to a certain ex 
tent, exercise some sort of supervision over them. 

Although every tenant in Venville has an undisputed 
right to free pasturage, yet it is usual for him to fee the 
moorman for each horse or beast he sends out, and, if this 
be refused, he may find his cattle stray to a very remarka 
ble extent, and be liable to get " stogged " in the bogs and 
be lost. 

As horses, etc., that are driven on parish commons, or 
on moors belonging to private individuals, very often leave 
these quarters for the broader expanse of the Royal For 
est, it is necessary, or deemed advisable, on certain days 
arbitrarily determined on, without notice to anyone, to have 
a "Drift." A messenger is sent round in the night or very 
early in the morning to the Venville tenants, from the 
moorman of the quarter, to summon them to the Drift ; on 
certain tors are upright holed stones, through which horns 
were passed and loudly blown, to announce the Drift. All 
the neighbourhood is on the alert dogs, men, boys are 
about, squires and farmers armed with long whips, and for 
merly with pistols and short swords and bludgeons. 

All the ponies and colts on the quarter, not only on 
Dartmoor Forest, but on all the surrounding zone of waste 



142 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

land, are driven from every nook and corner by mounted 
horsemen and dogs, towards the place of gathering, which 
is, for the western quarter, Merrivale Bridge. The driving 
completed, a vast number of ponies and horses of all ages, 
sizes, colours, and breeds, and men and dogs, are collected 
together in a state of wild confusion. Then an officer of 
the Duchy mounts a stone and reads to the assembly a 
formal document with seals attached to it. That ceremony 
performed, the owners claim their ponies. Venville ten 
ants carry off theirs without objection ; others pay fines. 
Animals unclaimed are driven off to Dinnabridge Pound, 
a large walled-in field in the midst of the moor, where they 
remain till demanded, and if unclaimed are sold by the 
Duchy.* 

To this day a Drift causes violent altercations ; formerly 
free fights between Venville tenants and those who were out 
side the Venville parishes were not uncommon, and blood 
was not infrequently shed. That a Drift should excite a 
whole neighbourhood to the utmost may be imagined. The 
dispersion of the horses by the fire on the moor occasioned 
the Drift at this unusual time of early spring. 

The morning was windy, clouds large and heavy were 
lumbering over the sky, turning the moor indigo with their 
shade, and where the sun shone the grey grass, as yet un- 
tinged with spring growth, was white as ashes. 

On the top of Smerdon stood a gigantic moorsman, with 
lungs like blacksmith's bellows, blowing a blast through a 
cow's horn that was heard for miles around. But the yelp 
ing of dogs, the shouts of men proclaimed that the whole 
world was awake and abroad, and needed no horn to call to 
attention. Men in rough lindsey and frieze coats and 
leather breeches, high boots, with broad hats, wild-looking 
as the horses they bestrode, and the hounds that bayed 
about them, galloped in all directions over the turf, shout 
ing and brandishing their long whips. Colts, ponies of 
every colour, with long manes and flowing tails, wQd as any 
bred on the prairies, leaped, plunged, raced about, snort 
ing, frightened, and were pursued by dogs and men. 

Although there was apparent confusion, yet a rude order 

* See an article on Venville rights on Dartmoor, by W. F. Collier, 
Esq , in the Devon Association Transactions for 1887. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 143 

might be observed. All the men were moved by one com 
mon impulse to drive the horses and ponies inwards, and 
though these frightened creatures often broke the ring that 
was forming and careered back to the outer downs whence 
they had been chased, to be pursued again by a host of 
dogs and men, yet there was observable a rough chain 
of drivers concentrating towards a point on the Walla, 
spanned by a bridge under Mistor. 

The whole neighbourhood was there Anthony had come, 
ashamed to be seen afoot, and yet unwilling not to be there. 
He saw one of his father's servants on his own horse, and 
he demanded it ; the fellow readily yielded his saddle, and 
Anthony joyously mounted his favorite roan. Fox Crymes 
was there with his eye bandaged, and glancing angrily at 
Anthony out of the one uninjured eye. Old Squire Clever- 
don did not come out, he could no longer sit at ease on 
horseback, and had never been much of a rider. Mr. 
Solomon Gibbs was out in a soiled purple coat, and with 
hat and wig as was his wont awry. And Urith was 
there. She could not remain at home on such an occasion 
as a Drift. Her uncle was not to be trusted to recognise 
and claim the Willsworthy cobs. He was not to be calcu 
lated on. There was a tavern at Merivnle Bridge, and 
there he would probably sit and booze, and leave his colts 
and rnares to take care of themselves. There was no proper 
hind at the manor, only day-labourers, who were poor rid 
ers. Therefore Urith was constrained to attend the Drift 
herself. 

She was the only woman present ; Julian Crymes had 
not come out. When Anthony saw Urith he approached 
her, but she drew away. 

" Why, how now ! " shouted Fox. " Whose horse are 
you riding ? " 

" My own," answered Anthony, shortly. 

" Oh ! I am glad to hear it. I understood that you had 
been bundled out of Hall without any of your belongings ; 
but your father, I suppose, allowed you to ride off on the 
roan ? " 

" I will thank you to be silent, " said Anthony, an 
grily. 

" Why should I, when even dogs are open-mouthed ? 
And as for Ever and his horn, he is calling everyone to 



144 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

speak in a scream, so as to be heard at all. Were you al 
lowed to take off oat s and hay as well ? " 

Anthony spurred his horse, to be out of ear-shot of his 
tormentor ; but Fox followed him. 

" What was it all about ? " he asked. " All the country 
side is ringing with the news that you and your father are 
fallen out, and that he has turned you out of doors ; but 
opinions are divided as to the occasion." 

"Let them remain divided," answered Anthony, and 
dug his spurs in so deeply that his horse bounded and 
dashed away. Fox no longer attempted to keep up with 
him, but turned to attach himself to Urith. She saw his 
intention, and drew near to her uncle, who was in conver 
sation with Yeoman Cudlip. 

They were now riding through a broad vale or dip be 
tween a range of serrated granite heights to the east, and 
the great trap -rounded pile of Cox Tor crowned with vast 
masses of cairn piled about the blistered basaltic prongs 
that shot through the turf at the summit. These cairns 
were probably used as beacons, for all were depressed in 
the middle to receive the heaps of fern and wood that 
were ignited to send a signal far away to the very Atlantic 
on the north, from a warning given on the coast of the 
English Channel. 

The turf was free from masses of boulder, but was in 
places swampy. At the water-shed was a morass with a 
spring, and from this point the stream had been labori 
ously worked in ancient times for tin ; the bed was 
ploughed up and thrown into heaps in the midst of the 
course. 

" Look yt)ncler," said Cudlip. " Do you see that pile o' 
stones with one piece o' granite atop standing up ? There's 
P. L. cut on that. Did you ever hear tell how Philip Lang 
came by his death there ? and how he came to lie there ? 
For I tell y' there he is buried, and it is the mark where 
Peter Tavy parish ends and Tavistock parish begins, and 
they say he do lie just so that the parish bound goes thro' 
the middle of him. It all came about in the times of the 
troubles between the King and the Parliament. Sir Kichard 
Grenville was in Tavistock, and was collecting men for the 
King ; and Lord Essex came up with the Roundheads, and 
there was some fighting. Then some of the train band- 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 145 

men were out here, and among them was Philip. He was 
a musketeer ; but, bless your soul ! he didn't know how to 
use the piece, and I've heard my father say that was the 
way with many. It was an old matchlock, and to fire it he 
had a fuse alight. Lord Essex was skirmishing round the 
country and Sir Richard had set a picket at this point. 
Well, Philip Lang, not knowing but the enemy might sur 
prise him from one side or the other, had his fuse alight, 
and his musket charged. But by some chance or other, 
the fuse was uncoiled, and the lighted end hung down be 
hind him and touched the horse on the croup. The beast 
jumped and kicked, and Lang could not make it out, for 
the fuse was behind him. Every time the horse bounded, 
the burning end struck him again in another spot, and he 
sprang about, and ran this way and that, quite mad ; and 
Philip Lang, who was never a famous rider, let go his 
matchlock, and had hard to do to keep his seat. But, 
though he had dropped the musket, the fuse was twisted 
round him and kept bobbing against the horse, and 
making it still madder. Then the beast dashed ahead 
across the valley, and went head over heels down into the 
old miners' works, and Philip was flung where you see that 
stone, and he never breathed or opened his eyes after. 
'Twas a curious thing that he fell just on the boundary of 
both parishes, and there was no saying whether he lay in one 
or the other. There was mighty discussion over it. The 
Peter Tavy men said the body belonged to Tavistock, and 
the Tavistock men said it belonged to Peter Tavy ; and 
neither parish would bury him, for, you see, he was a poor 
man, without friends or money." 

" Say, rather, " threw in Fox, " without money and 
friends. " 

" As you like, " answered the yeoman, and continued. 
"Well, it was thought that the parishes would have to go 
to law over it, to find out which would have to bury him, 
but after a deal o' trouble they came to an agreement to 
bury him where he fell, and three Peter Tavy men 
threw stones over him on one side, and three Tavistopk 
men threw stones the other ; and when the stone was set 
up the Peter Tavy men went to the expense of cutting one 
letter, P, and the Tavistock men went to the cost of the 
other letter, L. " 
10 



146 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"Come, " said Mr. Solomon Gibbs, "we ore fallen into 
the rear. " 

They pricked on, and descended the slope to the Kiver 
Walla, that foamed and plunged over a floor of broken 
granite at some depth below. In the valley, where was the 
bridge, two or three mountain-ash trees grew ; there was 
an inn and by it a couple of cottages. Here was now a 
scene of indescribable confusion and noise. The wild, 
frightened horses and ponies driven together, surrounded 
on all sides by the drivers, were leaping, plunging over 
each other, tossing their manes and snorting. The ring 
had closed about them. Every now and then a man 
dashed among them, on foot or mounted, when he recog 
nized one of his own creatures, and by force or skill sepa 
rated it from the rest, shouted to the drivers, who instantly 
opened a lane, and he drove the scared creature through 
the lane of men back on to the free wild moor. To effect 
this demanded daring and skill, and the men rivalled each 
other in their ability to claim their animals, and extricate 
them from the midst of the crowd of half-frantic creatures 
plunging and kicking. Neither Urith nor Solomon Gibbs 
had any intention of attempting such a dangerous feat, but 
purposed waiting till all other horses had been claimed, 
when they would indicate their own creatures, and the 
good-humoured moor-men of their quarter would dis 
charge them. Accordingly they remained passive obser 
vers, and the sight was one full of interest and excitement ; 
for the extrication of the horses claimed was a matter of 
personal danger, and demanded courage, a quick eye, 
great resolution, and activity. 

Fox Crymes had no intention of venturing within the 
ring ; he was standing on foot near Anthony's horse. An 
thony was awaiting his time when he would rush in to the 
capture of his father's colts. All eyes but those of Urith 
were riveted on the struggle with the horses. There were 
some tall men, or men on large horses, between her and 
the herd of wild creatures, and as she could not well see 
what went on within the ring, she looked towards An 
thony. 

She was a little surprised at the conduct of Fox. In 
the first place, he seemed to be paying no attention to what 
was engrossing the minds and engaging the eyes of the 



TfRITH: A TALE 0V DARTMOOtt. 147 

rest. He held a little back from Anthony, and was strik 
ing a light with a flint and a steel which he had taken from 
his pocket. 

What could be his purpose ? 

Urith was puzzled. Fox was no smoker. 

She noticed that he had a piece of amadou under the 
flint, and the sparks fell on it ; it kindled, and Fox en 
closed it within his hollowed hand and blew it into a glow. 

Then he looked hastily about him, but did not observe 
Urith. His bandaged eye was towards her, or he must 
have seen that she was watching him, and watching him 
with perplexity. 

Then he took three steps forward. 

Urith uttered a cry of dismay. 

Fox had thrust the fragment of burning amadou into 
the ear of the horse Anthony rode. 



CHAPTEE XX. 

A BLOODY HAND. 

The effect on Anthony's horse was instantaneous. With 
a snort it bounded into the air, threw back its head, then 
kicked out and began to dance and revolve, put its head 
down between the fore-legs, then reared into the air, every 
violent motion fanning the burning bunch of amadou into 
stronger heat. 

Anthony was taken by surprise, but maintained his seat. 
The horse quickly scattered those around. One man, 
struck by the hoofs, was drawn away in a state of uncon 
sciousness. Some men were driven in among the enclosed 
ponies, but quickly ran away ; and, in less time than it 
takes to write, the circle of lookers-on had reformed, en 
closing Anthony on his maddened steed in the same arena 
with the wild cobs and colts. 

A scene of indescribable confusion ensued. The tor 
tured horse bounded in among the throng of ponies, and 
threw them, if possible, into wilder disorder. All that 
could be seen for some moments was a tumult of heads, 
flying manes, hoofs, beasts leaping on and over each other, 



148 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

and Anthony with difficulty, and in extreme danger, carried 
up and down above the sea of horses' heads and heels. 
If he had fallen, his brains would have been dashed out in 
one minute. He knew this, and endeavoured to force his 
horse by deep spur out of the tangle ; but, agonised by the 
fire in its ear, it disregarded rein and spur. Of its own 
accord, however, it disengaged itself, or by chance found 
itself free for an instant from the surrounding tossing, 
plunging mass of its fellows ; and then, with a scream 
rather than a snort, it dashed right among the surrounding 
men. They divided at once not a man ventured forward 
to catch the rein and stay the mad beast. 

In front was the river, with the low wall of the bridge 
over it, and under the arch, among huge masses of granite, 
leaped, and roared, and tumbled the Walla, as mad as the 
frightened moorland ponies of a rich brown, but trans 
parent, colour, where not whipped into foam. 

Anthony's horse was dashing at the wall. The brute's 
head was now round biting itself, then down between its 
fore-hoofs, in a frantic paroxysm of kicks. Then it rushed 
forward, halted, spun round, then leaped with all four feet 
into the air, uttering screams. Everyone was cowed no 
one dared approach, and yet the situation of Anthony was 
critical. Another bound, maybe, and his horse would be 
over the wall, and roll with him among the masses of rock 
big as haystacks, over and among which the river dashed 
itself to threads and flakes of foam, or went down into one 
of the wine-dark pools, where the eddies swirled and dis 
solved their foam before taking another leap. 

Instinctively, overawed by one of those waves of feeling 
which come on men and beasts alike, all sounds ceased, the 
men no longer spoke, nor did the dogs bark. Only the 
churning of the colts' and ponies' feet was heard within 
the living ring of men, and the tinkle, tinkle, tinkle of a 
sheep-bell beyond the river. 

The horse was rearing to leap. 

At that moment a shot, and the horse fell like lead. 
Urith had snatched the pistol from the holster of her 
uncle's saddle, had leaped to the ground, run forward, and 
fired. 

Silence remained as unbroken as before, save for the 
tinkle of the sheep-bell, till Anthony disengaged himself 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 149 

from his fallen horse, stood up, shook himself, and then a 
cheer burst from all the men present, who pressed forward 
to congratulate him. 

, " Stay ! " said Urith, still on the bridge, and with the pis 
tol in her hand. She was white with emotion, and her 
eyes flaming with wrath. "Listen to me you all of you. 
I saw him do it I saw him light a ball of tinder and thrust 
it into the horse's ear, to drive the beast mad." 

She looked round her flashing eyes sought out him of 
whom she spoke. 

"I saw him do it, when all were looking elsewhere after 
their cobs. He hated him, and he sought this mean, this 
cruel, this treacherous revenge on him." 

She panted, her heart was beating furiously, and the 
blood rushed to her temples, and then ebbed away again, 
leaving her giddy. 

"Take him !" she cried. "He deserves it. Take him 
and fling him among the horses, and let them trample him 
down into the dirt. The man who did what he has done 
deserves no better." 

" Who ! who ! name ! " shouted the bystanders. 

" Who it was who did this? Did I not name him? It 
is he." She had caught sight of him with his bandaged eye. 
"Bring him forwaixl Fox Crymes." 

In a moment Fox was hustled forth out of the throng 
into the foreground. 

" I -would," gasped Urith, in quivering fury, "that I had 
another pistol, and I would shoot you as I have the horse, 
base, vile coward." 

Fox looked at her contemptuously out of his one eye. 
"It is well that none is in your hand a maniac should 
not be trusted with firearms, or should practise them on 
herself." 

"What has he done ?" shouted Farmer Cudlip. "What 
is the charge against him ? " 

" I say," answered Urith, " that whilst all were engaged 
looking for their colts, I saw him light a piece of tinder 
with flint and steel, and then thrust it into the ear of the 
horse." 

Silence followed this announcement. The men had 
been too surprised to foUow her charge when first 
made. 



150 URITJT: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"What do you say to that, Master Cryraes?" asked Cud- 
lip. 

"It ia a lie," retorted Fox. "She did it herself, so as 
to make a spectacle and appear as the preserver of her. 
lover." 

Again silence, save only for the trampling of the en- 
ringed ponies. The sheep-bell had ceased; maybe the 
sheep that bore the bell was lying down. 

TJrith spoke slowly, in her deepest tones. 

" On the moor there is no law or only the plain law of 
God that all can understand and obey. He is a murderer 
in heart. He tried to kill Anthony Cleverdon, and now he 
coward that he is insults me. Take him up and throw 
him among the horses." 

At once a score of hands were laid on Fox Crymea It 
was true, there was no law on the moor. There every man 
was a law unto himself. The Stannary Court sat but 
once in the year on the top of one of the central Tors, but 
that took cognisance only of offences against the mining 
laws. There was no criminal jurisdiction over the moor 
lodged anywhere or, it was supposed that there was none. 
But then crime was unknown on Dartmoor. 

When an act of violence is to be done, especially when 
sanctioned by some rough rule of justice, there is no lack 
of hands to commit it. 

Fox Crymes was generally disliked, his stinging tongue, 
his lack of geniality had alienated every acquaintance from 
him ; the farmers present were rude men of the moor con 
fines, brought under little or no control, kings on their 
own estate, and free of the moor to do thereon what they 
listed, take thence what they desired, fight thereon any 
with whom they were at feud, avenge themselves with 
their own arms for any wrong done to them. Never had 
a lawyer been invoked to unravel a doubtful claim, or to 
settle a dispute. Every knot was, if not cut through with 
a sword, at all events beaten out with the quarterstaff ; and 
every dispute brought to an end hy silencing one side with 
a bludgeon or a pistol. 

In one moment, Fox Crymes was caught up, with a roar 
of many voices giving consent to the execution of the sen 
tence pronounced by Urith, at once accuser and judge. 

" Hold off ! " cried Fox, and drew his knife ; freeing him- 



URITB: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 151 

self by a twist of the body from those who held him, and 
who shrank back at the flash of steel. 

His one eye glared. " I will drive it up to the haft in 
the first man who touches me ! " he said. 

" Strike it out o' his hand ! " shouted Cudlip. 

Fox, stabbing with his blade to right and left, backed 
from his assailants towards the wall. Cudgels were raised 
and aimed at him, but he dexterously withdrew his arm as 
each descended. The sight of the drawn weapon kindled 
the blood of the moor men, and those who had held back 
at first, now pressed forward to take him. ' 

A shout ! the colts and horses had made a rush, a dash, 
and had broken through the ring. It was quickly re 
formed, and away after those who had escaped rushed 
some of the men with their whips whirled about their 
heads. 

This caused a momentary diversion. Anthony took ad 
vantage to leave his place by the fallen horse, come for 
ward, and with his elbows force his way through to Crymes, 
and then, planting himself between Fox and his assailants, 
he shouted : 

" No harm has been done. It was a joke. He and I 
had sport together, and I hit him in the eye and hurt him ; 
he knows I never designed to injure him. Now he tried a 
merry prank on me. He designed no hurt to me but it 
has gone further than he would, as did mine with him. 
Hands off here, Fox, show them we bear each other no 
malice here before all, give me your right hand, good 
friend." 

Crymes held back. 

Cudgels were lowered, and the men drew away. 

Fox slipped his hunting-knive up his sleeve, and sul 
lenly extended his arm. 

" You see ! " called Anthony, looking round, and not re 
garding Crymes. " You see ! We are good friends, and 
hearty comrades." 

Then he clasped the right hand of Fox. As he did so, 
the blade slipped down the sleeve into the hand of Crymes, 
and as Anthony clenched his fingers about those of Fox, 
they closed on the blade in his hand, which was keen, and 
cut. He felt the knife, but he did not relax his grasp, and 
when he drew his hand away it was covered with blood. 



152 URITII: A TALE Of DARTMOOR. 

"It was a mischance," said Crymes, with a malicious 
laugh. " You did not give me time to sheath the knife." 

"Many a mischance falls between us," answered Anthony, 
hastily, drawing his glove over the wounded hand, lest it 
should attract attention. 

Then he strode up to Urith, who stood palpitating near. 
' I have saved you from yourself to-day," he said. 

' Yes I thank you." 

' You can thank me but in one way." 

'How so?" 

' Give me your hand. Take me forever." 

She put her hand into his : " I cannot help myself," she 
said, in a low tone. "Oh, mother, forgive." 

Then she loosed her hand, looked on it, and said, "There 
is blood ! " 

The blood had oozed through his glove. 

" It is my blood," answered Anthony, " on your hand." 



CHAPTER 

FIXED. 

Squire Cleverdon gave no token of relenting towards his 
son. Bessie had her brother's interests so at heart that 
she ventured, without sufficient tact, to approach him on 
the subject, but was roughly repelled. The old man was 
irritated when she spoke, and irritated when she was si 
lent ; for then her eyes appealed to him in behalf of An 
thony. The father held out, believing that by so doing he 
would break down Anthony's resolution. He did not be 
lieve in the power of love, for he had never experienced 
love. His son had taken a fancy, a perverse fancy for this 
Urith, as a child might take a fancy for a new toy. When 
the lad had had time to feel how ill it was to be an exile 
from his father's house, without money, without authority 
over serving-men, hampered and clipped in every direction 
and all sides, he would come to a better sense, laugh at his 
folly, and return to obedience to his father and to the suit 
for Julian Crymes and Kilworthy. 

His heart overflowed with gall against Urith. The 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 153 

thought of having a poor daughter-in-law could never have 
been other than distasteful to him, when he had set his 
mind on* the wealthy Julian ; but there were special reasons 
which made the acceptance of Urith impossible to him. 
She was the daughter of the man over whom he had 
gained a triumph in the eyes of the world, but it was a tri 
umph full of shame and vexation inwardly. It was due to 
that man that his married life had been one of almost in 
tolerable wretchedness. Not for a moment did he consider 
himself to blame in the matter ; he cast all the responsibil 
ity for his unhappiness on Richard Malvine ; on him he 
heaped all the hate that flamed out of envy at the personal 
superiority of the latter, jealousy because he had won the 
heart of his wife, and held it so firm that he Anthony 
Cleverdon had never been able to disengage it and attach 
it to himself ; revenge for all the slights and insults he had 
received from her unsparing, barbed tongue, slights and 
insults she had known well how to administer, so as to 
leave rankling wounds which no time would heal. Even 
now, as he broo'ded over his quarrel with Anthony, the 
sneers, the mockery she had launched at him for his mean 
ness, his pride, his ambition, rose up fresh in his memory., 
charged with new poison, and rankled in him again. But he 
did not feel anger against his dead wife for that, but against 
him who had used her as his instrument for torturing him ; 
and as Richard Malvine was dead, he could but retaliate on 
his daughter. 

Old Cleverdon attributed the worst motives to Urith. 
Margaret Penrose had married him for his money, and, 
naturally, Urith Malvine compassed the capture of Anthony, 
his son, for the same reason ; he did not see how he in 
volved himself in contradiction, in that he charged Urith 
with her attempt to become the wife of his son for the sake 
of his wealth, as if it were a deadly crime, whilst he him 
self acted on no other motive than ambition and money- 
greed. She- had entangled the young fellow in her net, 
and he would tear this net to pieces and release him. Ke 
would break down his son's opposition. He was not one 
to be defeated in what he took in hand, and no better 
means could be chosen by him for his purpose than 
making Anthony feel what poverty and banishment signi 
fied, Anthony had hitherto had at command what money 



154 URITff: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

he needed, and now to be with empty pockets would 
speedily bring him to reason. To attempt gentle means 
with his son never occurred to him ; he had been accus 
tomed to command, not to persuade. He became harder, 
more reserved, and colder than before ; and Bessie in vain 
looked for a gentle light to come into his steely eyes, a 
quiver to come on his firm-set lips, and a token of yielding 
to flicker over his inflexible features. 

And yet the old man felt the absence of his son, and had 
little sleep at night thinking of him ; but never for one 
moment did he suppose that he would not in the end tri 
umph over his sou's whim, and bring the young man back 
in submission to his usual place. 

Luke had been to Hall to see his uncle, in behalf of, but 
without the kifowledge of, young Anthony. 

" Oh ! tired of keeping him, are you ? " asked the old 
Squire. " Then turn him out of the parsonage. I shall 
be the better pleased ; so will he be the sooner brought to 
a right mind." 

Nothing was effected by this visit. After it, with bent 
head, full of thought, Luke took his way to Willsworthy. 
On entering the house, he found Anthony there, in the hall, 
with Urith and Uncle Solomon, the latter on the settle 
smoking, with a table before him on which stood cider. 
The light from the window was full and strong on the 
toper's face, showing its blotched complexion. Mr. Gibbs* 
appeared to his best when partially shaded, just as a lady 
nowadays assumes a gauze veil to soften certain harshnesses 
in her features. 

I saddled my horse and away I did ride 
Till I came to au ale-house hard by the road-side, 
I called for a glass of ale humming and brown, 
And hard by the fireside I sat myself down, 

Singing tol-de-rol-de-rol, tol de-rol-dee, 

And I in my pocket had one penny ! 

Uncle Sol sang in subdued tones till he came to the tol-de- 
rol ! when he drew the pipe from the corner of his mouth and 
sang aloud, rattling his glass on the table. He was not in 
toxicated, but in that happy, hilarious mood which was his 
wont, even out of his cups. 

" Oh, upcle ! do be silent," pleaded Urith, " Here comes 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 155 

Mr. Luke, and we want to talk of serious matters, and not 

of " 

"I in my pocket had one penny!" shouted Uncle Sol, 
diving into the depths of his pouch and producing the coin 
iu question, which he held out in his open palm ; " never 
got more never from this confounded place. Squeeze, 
squeeze, and out comes one penny. Never more. If An 
thony can do better with it, let him try. I have done my 
utmost, toiled and moiled, and at the end of all these years 
I in my pocket have one penny : 

I tarried all night, and I parted next day ; 
Thinks I to myself, I'll be jogging away 

but you won't send me off with in my pocket but one 
penny ? " 

" We will not send you off at all, uncle," said TJrith. 
" But here is Master Luke. Let us talk the matter over 
with seriousness, and without snatches of song." 

" I can't help myself, I must sing," said Mr. Gibbs. " You 
say on, and I will warble to myself. It is your affair rather 
than mine." 

Luke looked at Anthony and Urith, who stood near 
each other. He folded his hands behind his back, that he 
might conceal the nervous twitching of his fingers. 

" What is it, Anthony? " he asked. 

" Lake, we want your help. I know very well that this 
is early times since the death of Urith's mother ; but that 
cannot be helped. I cannot live on upon you longer. You 
are poor, and " 

"I grudge you nothing that I have." 

" I have a vast appetite. Besides, I like to have money 
of my own to spend ; and I arn not like Mr. Solomon 
Gibbs, who has in his pocket one penny, for I have none." 

" I will give you what I can." 

"I will not take it, Luke ; what I have and spend shall 
be mine own. So Urith and I will ask you to make us one, 
and give me a right to a penny or two." 

Luke was confounded ; this was acting with precipi 
tation, indeed. He quite understood that Squire Cleverdon 
would not receive Urith as a daughter-in-law with open 
arms, and that he would oppose such an alliance by all 



foG URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

means in bis power. Like Anthony, lie supposed that the 
old man's violence of language and threats ot disinheritance 
meant nothing. He would cut off his right hand rather 
than give up his ambitious set upon his sou. But iu the 
end he would yield to the inevitable, if inevitable this were. 
But this haste of Anthony in precipitating the marriage, in 
disregard to all decency, must incense the old father, and, 
if anything could do so, drive him to act upon his word. 

Luke became, if possible, graver ; the lines in his face 
deepened. He withdrew his hands from behind his back. 

"Anthony," said he, "this will not do. You are acting 
with your usual hot-headedness. You have angered your 
father, and must seek reconciliation and the abatement of 
his wrath, before you take such a step as this." 

"I said so," threw iu Urith. 

" My father never will yield so long as he thinks that I 
may be brought to change my mind. When he finds that 
I have taken the irrevocable step, then he will buckle under." 

" And is it for the sou to bid the father do this? " asked 
Luke, with some warmth. " No, I will be no party to this," 
he added, firmly, and set his thin lips together. 

"I love her, and she loves me ; we cannot live apart. 
God has made us for each other," said Anthony; "my 
father can't alter that ; it is God's will" 

Luke did not meet Anthony's glowing eyes, his were rest 
ing on the ground. He thought of his own love, and his 
own desolate heart. For a moment the bitterness therein 
overflowed ; he looked up shai-ply, to speak sharply, and 
then his eyes fell on the two young things Anthony big, 
sturdy, wondrously handsome, and full of joyous life, and 
at his side Urith, in her almost masculine and sullen beauty. 
Yes, they were as though made for each other the bright, 
light temper to be conjoined to the dark and sombre one, 
each qualifying, correcting the exuberance iu the other, 
each in some sort supplementing the deficiencies in the 
other. The harsh words that were on his lips remained 
unspoken. On the settle Uncle Sol was murmuring his 
tune to himself, every now and then breaking forth into 
a louder gush of song, and then at once suppressing it 
again. 

Perhaps it was God's will that these two should belong 
to each other ; perhaps the old hostility, and wrath, and 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 157 

envy that had embittered the lives of their several parents 
were to be atoned for by the mutual love of the children. 
Luke was too true a Christian to believe that the words of 
hate that had shot like fire-coals from a volcano out of the 
mouth of Madam Malvine, when dying, could avail aught 
now. In the better light into which she had passed, as he 
trusted, in the world of clearer vision and extinguished 
animosity, of all-enwrapping charity, she must, with inner 
anguish, repent, and desire to have unsaid those terrible 
words. The dying utterances of the woman did not weigh 
with Luke, or, if they had any weight, it was to turn the 
scale against them. No better comfort to the soul of the 
dead could be given than the certainty that those words 
had been reversed and cast aside. Luke passed his hands 
over his brow, and then said, " I will see your father again, 
Anthony." 

" That will avail nothing ; you have spoken with him al 
ready. I tell you he will not alter till he sees th'at his pres 
ent conduct does not affect me. What can he say or do after 
lam married ? He may, indeed, cut me off with a shilling ; 
but he will not do that. He loves me too well. He is too 
proud of having founded a family to slay his firstborn. 
Whom could he make his heir but me ? You do not sup 
pose he would leave all to you ? " 

" No," answered Luke. "If he did as an extreme meas 
ure it would all come to you. I would not keep one 
penny of it." 

" And I in my pocket " 

"Do be quiet, uncle ! " pleaded Urith. 

" Then what can he do ? He must come round. He is 
aa certain to come round as is the sun that sets every even 
ing in the west." 

"I hope so." 

" I am sure of it. I know my father better than do you, 
Luke. See here. Urith has Mr. Solomon Gibbs as her 
guardian, and he is quite willing." 

" Oh, heartily ! heartily ! " shouted Mr. Gibbs. ' I'm 
quite incompetent to guardian any one, especially such a 
defiant little devil as my niece. She snaps her fingers in 
my face." 

Luke stood biting his thumb. 

He was as fully confident as was Anthony that the old 



15$ VRITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

man would not leave Hall away from Lis son. He might 
be angry, and incensed against Anthony ; but his pride in 
the family position which he had won would never suffer 
him to disinherit his sou, and leave the estate away from 
him away from the name. 

" I cannot I cannot 1 " exclaimed Luke, with pain in his 
tone, for he felt that it was too great a sacrifice to be re 
quired of him that he should pronounce the nuptial bles 
sing over Anthony and TJrith. He laboured for breath. 
His brow was beaded with sweat. His pale face flushed. 

" Anthony ! this is unconsidered. You must postpone 
all thought of marriage to a later season. Consider that 
Urith's mother is but recently dead." 

" I know it ; but whether now or in three months, or 
three years, it makes no matter I shall love her all the 
same, and we belong to each other. But, see you, Luke, 
I cannot go on three years nay, nor three months, and 
hardly thre'e weeks without au occupation, and without 
money, and without a position. I am as impatient as you 
are for my reconciliation with my father. But we can be 
reconciled in one way only through Urith's wedding-ring. 
Through that we will clasp hands. The longer the delay, 
the longer the estrangement, and the longer does my father 
harbour his delusion. If you will not marry me at once 
toUrith 

" That I will not." 

" Then I shall remain here, and work for her as her stew 
ard, look after the farm and the estate, and put it straight 
for her. Why, this is the time of all the year of the great 
est importance to a farmer the time that my direction is 
most necessary. I tell you, Luke, I stay hero, either AS 
her husband or as her steward." 

"That cannot be, that must not be," said Luke, with 
heat, " and that Urith herself must feel." 

TJrith did feel it. But Urith's mind was disturbed by 
what had taken place. She had no knowledge of the world, 
and Anthony's arguments had seemed to her conclusive, so 
conclusive as to override her own repugnance to an imme 
diate marriage. She had resolved to give him up alto 
gether, and yet she had yielded ; that resolve had gone to 
pieces. She had resolved that if she did take him it should 
be at some time in the future, but when he pointed out to 



URITS: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 159 

her that his only chance of reconciliation with his father 
was through marriage, as to abandon her was an impossible 
alternative, and that he was absolutely without work, with 
out a position, without means sponging on his cousin, a 
poor curate, then she saw that this, her second resolve, 
must go to pieces, like the first. 

"Anthony," said Luke ; "you will have to go away for 
a year for some months at the least." 

" Whither ? To whom ? " 

" Surely Justice Crymes knows of " 

" How can I accept any help from him when I refuse 
his daughter, and when I have blinded his son ? " 

" That is true and your mother had no relatives ? " 

" None that I know of but my grandmother, who is with 
you." 

" Then go to sea." 

" I have no taste to be a sailor." 

" Be a soldier ? " 

" No, Luke, here I can serve Urith save Willsworthy 
from going to destruction. It is not a bad estate, but has 
been mismanaged. Here I can be of utility, and here I 
can be a help to Urith, and find work that suits me, and 
which I understand. It seems plain to me that Willswor 
thy is crying out for me to come and take it in hand ; and, 
unless it be taken in hand at once, a whole year is lost." 

" That is true," threw in Solomon Gibbs, whose great 
eagerness now was to be disembarrassed of a task that was 
irksome to him, and obligations that were a burden. " You 
see, I was never reared to the farm, but to the office. I can 
draw you a lease, but not a furrow ; make a settlement, 
but not a turf-tye. I wash my hands of it all." 

" Then, in God's name," said Luke, in grey pallor, and 
with quivering features, "if it must be, then so be it. 
May be His finger points the way. As you will. I am at 
your service but not for one month. Concede me that." 

"From to-day," said Anthony. "So be it. That is 
fixed." 



160 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

CHAPTER TKTT T 

BANNS. 

Sunday morning. A more idyllic and peaceful scene 
than Peter Tavy Church on Sunday could hardly be found. 
The grand old granite church with its bold grey tower and 
rich pinnacles standing among trees, now bursting with 
leaf ; overhead, the soaring moors strewn with rock ; the 
river or brook bounding, brawling down between the hills, 
with a pleasant rush that filled the air with a fresh, never- 
failing music. 

The rooks cawing, pee-whits calling, larks thrilling, wood- 
pigeons cooing, ami the blackbirds piping during the 
pauses of the church-bells. And within the church, after 
the service had begun, when the psalni was not sung, as an 
accompaniment to the parson's prayer came in through the 
open door, with the sweet spring air and the sunlight, and 
through the ill-set and cracked wavy-green glass of the 
windows that wondrous concert of Nature. As an organ 
ist sometimes accompanies the Confession and the Creed 
and Lord's Prayer, with a subdued change of harmonies on, 
the instrument, so did mighty awakening Nature give its 
changing burden to this voice of prayer within, without a 
discord, and never unduly loud. 

A quaint old church, with fragments of stained glass in 
the windows, with old oak-carved benches representing on 
shields various strange sea-monsters, also rabbits running 
in and out of their holes, moor-birds fluttering over their 
young, and along with these symbols of trade, a spit with 
a goose on it, a flax-beating rack, a sheaf of wheat, and a 
sickle, and again the instruments of the Lord's Passion, and 
armorial bearings of ancient families, a queer jumble of 
subjects sacred and profane, a picture of human life. The 
screen existed almost intact, richly sculptured and gilt, and 
painted with the saints and apostles. Above this a great 
Royal Arms. 

The church wns full. In the great carved pew, men 
tioned in a former chapter, were the Crymes family ; in 
another, newly erected, were Squire Cleverdon and hia 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 1G1 

daughter. Urith and her uncle sat in the old bench be 
longing to the Willsworthy Manor ; the family had not had 
the stray cash at command to replace this with a deal pew, 
according to the new fashion. Anthony was within the 
screen, in the rectory seat. 

Looking through the screen, he could see his father, with 
his blue coat the collar dusted over with powder his 
dark eyebrows and sharp features. The old man looked 
straight before him, and purposely kept his eyes away from 
the chancel and his son when he stood up during Psalm 
and Creed. 

The Second Lesson was read, and then ensued a pause. 
Even Anthony's heart gave a leap and flutter then, for he 
knew what was to follow. 

Luke, in distinct tones, but with a voice in which was a 
slight tremor, announced : "I publish the banns of marri 
age between Anthony Cleverdou, of this parish, bachelor, 
and Urith Malviue " 

He was interrupted by a strange noise something be 
tween a cry of pain and the laugh of a madman. Squir6 
Cleverdon, who had risen to his feet on the conclusion of 
the Lesson, had fallen back in his pew, with livid face and 
clenched hands. 

The curate waited a moment till the commotion was 
abated ; then he proceeded " Urith Mai vine, of this 
parish, spinster. If any of you know any just cause why 
these persons may not be joined together in holy matri 
mony " 

Squire Cleverdon staggered to his feet, and, clasping the 
back of the pew with both hands, in a harsh voice that 
rang through the church, cried, "I forbid the banns." 

" This is the first time of asking." Luke proceeded, with 
a voice now firm : "If any objection be raised, I will hear 
it immediately after Divine Service." 

Little attention was given through the rest of public 
worship to anything save the old father, his son, and to 
Urith. All eyes wandered from the Cleverdon pew, in 
which the Squire sat screened, and in which he no more 
rose, to Anthony in the chancel, and then to Urith, who 
was deadly pale. 

Luke's sermon may have been eloquent and instructive ; 
not a person in the congregation gave heed to it. 



162 UR1TII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

There was another person present who turned white at the 
announcement, and that was Julian Crymes ; but she speedi 
ly recovered herself, and, rising, looked across the church 
at Urith with eyes that flamed with jealousy and hate. Her 
hand clenched her gloves, wrapped together in it. Yes, 
that wild moor-girl had won in the struggle, and she tho 
rich, the handsome Julian was worsted. Her heart beat so 
furiously that she was afraid of leaning ngaiust the carved 
oak sides of the pew lest she should shake them. Her eye 
encountered that of her half-brother, twinkling with malice, 
and the sight gave back her self-possession ; she would 
not let Fox see, and triumph over her confusion. 

The congregation waited with impatience for the con 
clusion of the service, and then, after defiling into the 
churchyard, did not disperse ; they tarried to hear the 
result of the objection raised to the publication. 

Urith hastened away with her uncle, but she had diffi 
culty in persuading him to go with her. He had so many 
friends in the churchyard, there was such a topic for dis 
cussion ready ; but her will prevailed over his, and after 
a forlorn look back at his friends, and a shrug of the 
shoulders, he left with her. 

But Anthony remained with head erect ; he knew that 
no objection his father could make would avail anything. 
He nodded his head to acquaintances, and held out his 
hand to.f riends with his wonted confidence ; but all showed 
a slight hesitation about receiving his advances, a hesita 
tion that was so obvious that it angered him. He was at 
variance with his father, and the father held the purse- 
strings. All knew that, and none liked to be too friendly 
with the young man fallen out of his fortune, and out of 
place. 

Fox alone was really friendly. He pushed forward, and 
seized and shook Anthony's hand, and congratulated him. 
The young man was pleased. 

" Bygones are bygones," said Fox, whose eye was cov 
ered with a patch, but no longer bandaged. " My sight is 
not destroyed, I shall receive it again, the doctor says. As 
for that affair on the moor, at the Drift you know me bet 
ter than to suppose I meant you harm." 

"Certainly I do," answered Anthony with warmth. 
ff Just as you knew that when I struck you with the glove, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 163 

I bad not the smallest desire to hurt you. It was well, 
what you like to call it a passage of arms or a frolic. It 
is over." 

" It is over, and all forgotten," said Fox. " You will not 
be deterred by your father's refusal to give consent to this 
marriage ? " 

"Certainly I will not," answered Anthony. "He will 
come round in time. It is but a question of time." 

There was no vestry. Old Cleverdon waited in the church 
till Luke had taken off his surplice, and then went up to 
him in the chancel. 

" What is the meaning of this ? " he asked, rudely. 
" How dare you who have eaten of my bread, and whose 
back I clothed, take the part of Anthony against me ?" 

Luke replied gravely, " I have done my office ; whoever 
asks me to read his banns, or to marry him, I am bound 
to execute my office." 

"I will send to the rector, and have you turned out of 
the cure." 

" You may do so, if you please." 

Luke maintained his calm exterior. The old man was 
trembling with anger. 

"If you have objections to the marriage, state them," 
said Luke. 

" Objections ! Of course I have. The marriage shall 
not take place. I forbid it." 

" On what grounds ? " 

" Grounds ! I do not choose that it shall take place ; let 
that suffice." 

" That, however, will not suffice for me. I am bound to 
repeat the banns, and to many the pair, if they desire it, 
unless you can show me reasons legitimate reasons to 
make me refuse. Anthony is of age." 

" He shall not marry that hussy. I will disinherit him if 
he does. Is not that enough ? I will not be defied and 
disputed with. I have grounds which I do not choose to 
proclaim to the parish." 

" Grounds I know you have," answered Luke gravely ; 
"but not one that will hold. Why not give your consent ? 
Urith is not penniless. Willsworthy will prove a good 
addition to Hall. Your son loves her, and she loves 
him." 



164 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" I will not have it. He shall not marry her ! " again 
broke from the angry man. " lie does it to defy me." 

" There you are in error. It is you who have forced him 
into a position of estrangement, and apparent rebellion, 
because you will not suffer him to obey his own heart He 
seeks his happiness in a way different from what you had 
mapped out ; but it is his happiness, and he is better able 
to judge what conduces thereto than are you." 

" I do know better than he. Does it lead to happiness 
to live separated from me for I will never see him if he 
marries that hussy ? Will it be to his happiness to see 
Hall pass away into other hands ? Never, so help me God ! 
shall he bring her over my threshold certainly never as 
mistress. Answer me that." 

The blood mounted to Luke's cheeks, and burnt there 
in two angry spots. 

" Master Cleverdon," he said, and his voice assumed the 
authority of a priest, "your own wrongdoing is turning 
against you and yours. You did Urith's father a wrong, 
and you hate him and his daughter because you know that 
you were guilty towards him. You took from him the wo 
man he loved, and who loved him, and sought to build 
your domestic happiness on broken hearta You failed : 
you know by bitter experience how great was your failure ; 
and, instead of being humbled thereby, and reproaching 
yourself t you become rancorous against his innocent child." 

" You you, say this ! You beggar, whom I raised from 
the dunghill, fed, and clothed ? " 

"I say it," answered Luke, with calmness, but with the 
flame still in his cheek, "only because I am grateful to you 
for what you did me, and I would bring you to the most 
blessed, peace-giving, and hopeful state that exists a state 
to which we must all come, sooner or later some soon, 
some late, if ever we are to pass into the world of Light 
a knowledge of self. Do not think that I reproach you for 
any other reason. You know that I speak the truth, but 
you will not admit it bow your head and beat your breast, 
and submit to the will of God." 

The Squire folded his arms and glared from under his 
heavy eyebrows at the audacious young man who pre 
sumed to hold up to him a mirror. 

"You will not refrain from reading these banns?" 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 105 

"Not without just cause." 

" And you will defy me and marry them ? " 

" Yes." 

The old man paused. He was trembling with rage and 
disappointment. He considered for a while. His face be 
came paler a dusky grey and the lines between his nos 
trils and the corners of his mouth hardened and deepened. 
Forgetting that he was still in the church, he put his hat 
on his head ; then he turned to walk away. 

" I have shown all all here, that I am against this ; I 
have proclaimed it to the parish. I will not be defied with 
impunity. Take care you, Luke ! I will leave no stone 
unturned to displace you. And as for Anthony, as he has 
made his bed so shall he lie in his pigstye. Never I 
call God to my witness never in Hall." 

As he passed through the riohly-sculptured and gilt and 
painted screen, an old woman stepped forward and inter 
cepted him on his way to the church door. 

He put out his hand impatiently, to wave her away, with 
out regarding her, and would have thrust past. But she 
would not be thus put aside. 

"Ah, ha! Master Cleverdon ! " she exclaimed, in harsh 
tones. "Look at me. Do you not know me me, your 
wife's mother. Me, whom you threatened with the stick 
should I venture through your doors to see my daughter ? " 

Old Cleverdon looked at her with a scowl. " Of course 
I know you you old beldame Penwarne." 

" There is a righteous God in heaven ! " cried the old 
woman, with vehemence extending her arms to bar his 
passage. " Now will he recompense to you all the heart 
ache and misery you brought on my child aye, and through 
your own child too, That is well ! That is well ! " 

" Stand aside ! " 

"I will not make a way for you to go," continued the 
old woman. " If you venture to go away until I have spo 
ken, I will run after you and shriek it forth in the church 
yard where all may hear. Will you stay now ? " 

He made no further attempt to force his way past her. 

"You thought that with your money you could buy 
everything even my child's heart ; and when you found 
you could not, then you took her poor heart, and trampled 
on it ; you spurned it ; and you trod it again and again 



166 URITJI: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

under your cursed foot till all the blood was crushed 'out 
of it. " Her eyes glowed, there was the madness of long- 
retained and fostered hate in her heart. "You made a 
wreck of her life, and now your own child spurns you, and 
tramples on all your fatherly love, laughs at your ambition, 
mocks all your schemes, and flings back your love in your 
face as something too tainted, too base, to be worth a 
groat Ah, ha ! I have prayed to see this day. I see it, 
and am glad. Now go." 

She stepped on one side, and the Squire walked down 
the church. In the porch he found Bessie, or rather Bes 
sie found him, for he did not observe her. She put her 
hand on his arm, and looked earnestly, supplicatiugly into 
his eyes. He shook off her hand, and walked on. 

Half the congregation nearly all the men, and a good 
many of the women, were, in the churchyard in groups, 
talking. Fox was with Anthony, but as soon as the Squire 
appeared, he fell from him and drew back near one of the 
trees of the church avenue, and fixed his keen observant 
eye on the old man. But every other eye was on him as 
well. Cleverdon came slowly, and with that mixture of 
pomposity and dignity which was usual with him, but 
which was this day exaggerated, down the avenue, he nod 
ded and saluted with his hat the acquaintances whom he 
observed, but he said no word of greeting to any one. 
Presently he came opposite his son, then he stayed his foot, 
looked at him, and their eyes met. Not a muscle was re 
laxed in his face, his eye was cold and stony. Then he 
turned his head away, and walked on at the same leisurely 
pace. 

The blood boiled up in Anthony's arteries. A film 
passed over his sight and obscured it, then he turned and 
went down another path, and abruptly left the graveyard. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 167 



CHAPTER 

IN THE PORCH. 

The marriage had taken place ; the banns were no fur 
ther opposed. Old Cleverdon, indeed, sought a lawyer's 
advice ; but found he could do nothing to prevent it. An 
thony was of age, and his own master. The only control 
over him he could exercise was through the strings of the 
purse. The threads of filial love and obedience must have 
been slender, they had snapped so lightly. But the Squire 
had never regarded them much, he had considered the 
others tough to resist any strain strong to hold in the 
wildest mood. 

He was not only incensed because Anthony defied him, 
but because the defiance had been open and successful. 
He had proclaimed his disapproval of the match by for 
bidding the bauns before the entire parish ; consequently, 
his defeat was public. 

Urith had been carried, as by a whirlwind, out of one 
position into another, without having had time to consider 
how gi-eat the change must necessarily be. She had, in 
her girlhood, hardly thought of marriage. Following her 
own will, independent, she had not pictured to herself that 
condition as invested with any charm which must bring 
upon her some sort of vassalage a state in which her will 
must be subordinate to that of another. 

The surroundings were the same : she had spent all her 
days since infancy in that quaint old thatched manor-house ; 
looked out on the world through those windows ; seen what 
of the world came there flow in through the same doors ; 
had sat at the same table, on the same chairs ; heard the 
tick-tick of the same clock ; listened to the same voices 
of Uncle Sol and the old family maid. The externals were 
the same ; but her whole inner life had assumed a new 
purpose and direction. 

She could think, at first, of nothing save her happiness. 
That rough home was suddenly invested with beauty and 
fragrance, as though in a night jessamine and rose had 



108 URIT1I: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

sprung up around it, covered its walls, and were breathing 
their fragrance through the windows. 

The course of her life had not been altered, broken by a 
leap and fall, but had expanded, because fuller, and at the 
same time deeper. 

Now and then there came a qualm over her conscience 
at the thought of her mother. She had defied her last 
wishes, and her marriage had followed on the burial with 
indecent haste, but in the dazzle of sunshine in which she 
walked the motes that danced before her served but to in 
tensify the brilliance of the light. 

Summer was advancing. The raw winds of early spring 
were over, and the east wind when it came down off the 
moor was no longer edged as a razor, but sheathed in vel 
vet. The world was blooming along with her heart, not 
with a lone flower here and there, but with exuberance of 
life and beauty. 

Her mother had kept but a single domestic servant, a 
woman who had been with her for man}' years, and this 
woman remained on. A charwoman came for the day, not 
regularly, but as frequently as she could. 

The circumstances of the Malvines had been so bad that 
they could not afford a large household. Mistress Mai vine 
had helped as much as she was able, and Urith, now that 
she was left mistress, and had introduced another inmate 
into the house, was called on to consider whether she 
would help in the domestic work, or keep another servant. 
She wisely resolved to lend a hand herself, and defer the 
enlargement of the household till the farm paid better than 
it did at present. That it would be doubled in value 
under prudent management, neither she nor Anthony 
doubted. 

She believed his assurances, and his assurances were 
well-grounded. To make it possible to double its value, 
however, one thing was wanted, which was not available 
capital, to buy sheep and cattle. 

Anthony attacked the task with great energy. He knew 
exactly what was wanted, and he had great physical 
strength, which he did not spare. 

Some of the walls of moonstone uncemented, unbound 
together by mortar, piled one on another, and maintaining 
their place by their own weight had fallen, and presented 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 169 

through which the moor-ponies and cattle invaded 
the fields, and their own beasts escaped. 

Anthony set to work to rebuild these places. The stones 
were there, but prostrate, and, through long neglect, over 
grown with moss, and embedded in the soil. Urith 
brought out her knitting and sat on a stone by him, as he 
worked, in the sun and sweet air. Never had Urith been 
so happy never Anthony so joyous. Never before had 
Urith cared about the preparation of a meal, and never 
before had Anthony so enjoyed his food. They were like 
children careless of the morrow, laughing, and in cloud 
less merriment. The old servant, who had grumbled and 
shaken her head over the precipitate marriage of Urith, 
was carried away by the joyousness of the young couple, 
unbent, smiled, and forgave the indiscretion. 

They received visitors not many, but some. Urith and 
her mother had had few acquaintances, and these came to 
wish the young couple happiness. Those of old Cleverdon 
kept aloof, or came hesitatingly : they were unwilling to 
break with the rich father for the sake of the son out of 
favour. Luke made his formal call. He came seldom ; he 
had not sufficiently conquered his own heart to be able to 
look on upon the happiness of his cousin and Urith without 
a pang. When, a month after the wedding, he met An 
thony one day, the latter flew out somewhat hotly in com 
plaint of the neglect with which he had been treated. 

" I suppose you also, Cousin Luke, are hedging, and try 
ing to make friends with my father by showing me the 
cold shoulder." 

" You say this ! " exclaimed Luke, in pained surprise. 

"You have rarely been to see me since my marriage. I 
hardly know what is going on in the world outside our 
boundai-y-walls. But it does not matter I have a world 
of work, and of content within." 

Luke made no reply. 

" There is Bessie, too I thought better of her she has 
not been over to us. I suppose she knows on which side 
her bread is buttered." 

" There you wrong her," answered Luke, hotly. " You 
little have understood and valued Bessie's generous, unsel 
fish, loving heart, if you can say such a word as that of 
her." 



170 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Then why has she not been near me ? " 

" Because she has been forbidden by your father. You 
know, if you have any grace in you, Anthony, that this 
prohibition troubles her, and costs her more tears and 
heartaches than you." 

" She should disobey in this matter. I see neither 
reason nor religion in blind obedience to irrational com 
mands." 

"She may serve your interests better by submission. 
You may be well assured that your welfare is at her 
heart ; and that she seeks in every way to bend your 
father's stubborn will, and bring him to a reconciliation 
with you." 

" By the Lord, Luke ! " exclaimed Anthony, " I wish you 
would take Bessie yourself. She would make an admirable 
parson's wife." 

Luke paused a moment before he replied, then he an 
swered, in a constrained voice, coldly : " Anthony, in such 
matters I follow my own impulse, and not the directions of 
others. You speak thinking only of yourself, and your 
wish to be able once more to see your sister makes you 
suggest what might be distasteful to her and unsuitable to 
me." 

"There, there, it was a joke," said Anthony. "Excuse 
me if I be a little fretted by separation from Bessie. She 
would be of the greatest possible assistance to Urith, and 
Urith has no one : 

" There is still one course open to you, which may lead 
to reconciliation," said Luke. 

"And that ?" 

"Is to go to Hall and see your father. Try what effect 
that has on him. It cannot make matters worse, and it 
may make them better." 

" Oh, repeat the story of the Prodigal Son ! But I am 
not a prodigal. I feel no repentance. I cannot say, ' Father, 
I have sinned against heaven and against thee make me as 
one of thy hired servants.' I cannot say what I do not feel. 
It is he who has transgressed against me." 

" And you expect him to come to you, beating his breast ; 
and then you will kill the fatted calf and embrace and for 
give him ? " 

Anthony laughed, with a heightened colour. " Not so, 



URITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 171 

exactly ; but it will all come right in the end. He can't 
hold out, and in the end must take me back into favour. 
To whom else could he leave Hall ? " 

One market day Anthony and Urith were in Tavistock. 
Every one was there that he knew ; market was attended 
by all the gentry, the farmers, and tradespeople of the 
country side ; by all who had goods to sell or wanted to 
buy, and by such as wanted to, -or were able to do, neither 
one the other, but who could exchange news and eat and 
drink at the ordinary, and perhaps thereat get drunk. 

Urith rode to market on pillion behind Anthony, hold 
ing to the leather belt about his waist. The day was bright, 
and as they rode, he turned his head over his shoulder and 
spoke to her, and she answered him. They were as chil 
dren full of mirth, only one little cloud on the horizon of 
each on that of Anthony the lack of warmth with which 
his old acquaintance greeted him, a matter that vexed him 
more than did the estrangement from his father ; on that 
of Urith, the consciousness that she had disobeyed her 
mother's last wishes ; but in the great splendor of their 
present happiness these little clouds were disregarded. 

In Urith's bosom was a rose the first rose of summer 
that Anthony had picked, and he had himself fastened in 
with a pin to her bodice, and she had kissed his head as he 
was engaged thereon. 

The day was not that of ordinary market ; it was the 
Whitsun fair as well ; and, as Anthony approached Tavi 
stock, numbers of holida} 7 makers were overtaken, or over 
took him, on his way to the town. The church bells were 
ringing, for there was Divine Service on such festival days, 
and this was usually attended by all the women who came 
to fair, whilst their husbands saw to the putting away of 
their horses, saving only such as had wares for sale, and 
these occupied themselves during worship with their stalls, 
if they had them ; if not, with spreading their goods on 
the ground in such advantageous manner as best to at 
tract purchasers. 

" You will come to me to the church porch, Tony ! " said 
Urith, as she dismounted. "In the crowd we may miss 
each other, and I shall like to go on your arm." 

So it was agreed, and Urith entered the church. This, a 
fine four-aisled building, was in ancient times, as it is now, 



172 TJRITII: A TALE OF DARTXOOR. 

the parish church ; it stood in the shadow of the mighty 
Minster of the Abbey, dwarfed by it, 11 stately pile, second 
only in size in the county to the Cathedral Church of Exeter. 
Ruins of it remained at the time of this tale, tall pillars and 
arches, and the main road from Plymouth had, out of wil 
ful wickedness, been run, in the days of the commonwealth, 
up what had been the nave, and the east end torn down, 
so that market could be held in the desecrated House of 
God, under the partial shelter of the vaulted aisles. All is 
now gone, quarried away to supply every man with stone 
who desired to rebuild his house ; most of it removed for 
the construction of the stately mansion of the Earls of 
Bedford, who were possessed of the Abbey property.* 

" What you here ! So we see you again ? " exclaimed 
Fox, as Anthony dismounted in the inn-yard. Fox Crymes 
held forth his hand, and it was warmly grasped by An 
thony, who at once looked at his eye. Crymes had discon 
tinued the bandage, but all did not seem right with the 
orb. "lean see with it," said the latter, observing the look 
of Anthony, " but with a cloud ; that, I fear, will ever 
hang there." 

" You know that I would pluck out one of my own eyes 
and give it you," said Anthony, with sincerity and emotion. 
" I shall never forget that unhappy blow." 

" Nor I," answered Chines, dryly. 

"Is your sister here?" asked Anthony. 

" Yes in the church. By the way, Tony, how is it that 
we never see you at the Hare and Hounds? Does not the 
apron-string extend so far? Or are your legs so clogged 
with the honey in the pot into which you are dipping for 
you to be able to crawl so far ? " 

" Oh, you will see me there some day ; but now I am too 
hard-worked. All Sol Gibbs's muddles to mend, you un 
derstand, and neglects to be made up for. I work like a 
slave?" 

" How about your father ? Any nearer a reconciliation ? " 
There was a leer in Fox's eye as he asked this. 

Anthony shrugged his shoulders. 

" I must be off," said he. 

"Whereto?" 

* Now the Bedford Inn. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 173 

"To the porch. I promised Urith to meet her there." 

" Oh ! she is palling at the apron-string. Let me not 
detain you." 

Anthony walked away. He was annoyed. It was ab 
surd, preposterous of Fox to speak to him as if he were in 
subjection to his wife. The words of Fox left an uneasy 
feeling in his breast, as if it had been touched by a nettle, 
a tingle, a sting, nothing to signify but a perceptible dis 
comfort. 

He reached the church-porch as Urith and Julian were 
leaving the church, and he arrived at a critical moment. 

That morning before leaving Willsworthy, Urith had 
taken her gloves to draw them on, when she found them 
stuck together with some adhesive matter. On pulling 
them over she found that the palms and fingers were cov 
ered with pitch. It then occurred to her that she had laid 
her hands on some rails that been recently blackened with 
pitch to preserve them from decay, by her husband and 
that it was not dry as she had supposed. The gloves 
were spoiled she could not wear them. She was not pos 
sessed of another pair, and could not ride to Tavistock 
with hands uncovered. 

Her eyes feU on the pair that had belonged to Julian, 
and which had been cast at her in defiance. After hesitat 
ing for a moment, she drew these on, and resolved to pur 
chase herself fresh gloves in the fair. 

On reaching church, she drew off her gloves, and laid 
them across the rail of the pew. 

Julian Crymes was near, in the Kilworthy pew that be 
longing to the Glanvilles, as did the pew in Peter Tavy 
Church also, attached to another house owned by the fam 
ily in that parish. 

Urith did not give her gloves a thought till she saw Ju 
lian's eyes fixed on them, and caught a dark glance from her. 

Then she coloured, conscious of the mistake she had 
made, but recovered herself immediately. She had won 
in the match a fair one, and had carried off the stakes. 
A sense of elation came upon her, she held up her head, 
and returned Julian's look with one of haughty triumph. 
She saw Julian's colour darken, and her lips tremble ; a 
passage of arms took place in the church, the weapons 
being but glances of sharp eyes. 



174 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

What was played and sung neither considered, each was 
engaged on her own thoughts. Elated Urith was happi 
ness fills the heart with pride. She she whom no one 
hitherto had regarded, had wrested away the great prize 
against tremendous odds Julian's beauty, family position, 
wealth, and the weight of his own father's advocacy. For 
her sake he had thrown away everything that others es 
teemed. She had cause to be proud reason to feel her 
heart swell with the sense of victory : and who that has 
won a victory does not desire a public triumph ? 

No sooner was service over, than Urith, with a little os 
tentation, drew on the gloves, then took the rose Anthony 
had pinned to her stomacher, and looking fixedly at Ju 
lian, loosened it, pressed it to her lips, and replaced it 
Her rival read in the act the very thoughts of her heart. 
That rose which had been given her was the pledge of An 
thony's love. 

Julian panted with anger. It was well for her that none 
was in the pew by her to notice her emotion. At the last 
Amen she flung open the door, and stepped out into the 
aisle, at the same moment as Urith, and both made their 
way to the porch, side by side, without a look at each other. 
They passed through the doorway together, and saw An 
thony standing there. 

Instantly the whole thing was done so quickly as to es 
cape Anthony's notice Julian turned with flashing eye on 
Urith, plucked the rose from her bosom, pressed it to her 
own lips, then threw it on the ground and crushed it under 
her foot. 

There was no time that was no place for retaliation. 
Urith's blood rushed to her heart ; then she caught her 
husband's arm, and with him walked away. 

All that day a sense of alarm and unrest troubled her. 
Julian had renewed her defiance ; had threatened both her 
and Anthony. Would this threat be as vain as her former 
defiance ? Urith swallowed her fears, scorned to entertain 
them but the sting remained. 

In the evening, when about to start on her return, when 
his horse was ready "You must wait for me a moment, 
Tony," she said, and hurried back to the porch. 

The rose, trampled out of shape, trodden on by many 
feet, lay there, soiled and petalless. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 175 

If Julian were to snatch him away, were to cast him 
down under foot and crush him what would she do ? 
Would she wear him again ? Would she stoop to him ? 

She stood in the grey, cool porch, looking at the bat 
tered flower. Then she bent, picked up the rose, and hid 
it in her bosom. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

KILWOKTHY. 

f 

Anthony helped Urith to the saddle, saying, 

" I am not coming home just now. You must ride back 
alone." 

"But why not?" Urith asked, in surprise, and a little 
disappointment. 

" Must I account to you for all my acts ? " said Anthony, 
somewhat testily. 

" Not at all," answered Urith ; " but surely there is no 
objection to my asking so innocent a question as that. If, 
however, it gives you displeasure, I will abide without an 
answer." 

" Oh ! " said Anthony, the cloud passing from his face, 
"I have no reason not to answer. I am going with Fox. 
He has asked me to return with him to Kilworthy ; and as 
I have seen no one for a couple nay, for three months, 
and have well-nigh lost the use of my tongue, I have ac 
cepted." 

" I do not like Fox. I do not like you to be with him." 

"Am I to consult you as to whom I make my friends? 
He is the only one who has come forward with frankness, 
and has braved my father's displeasure by showing me a 
countenance of old friendliness." 

" I do not like Fox I mistrust him." 

" I do not," said Anthony, bluntly. "I am not going to 
take my opinions from you, Urith." 

" I do not suppose you will," retorted she, with a little 
heat ; " but do not forget what he did to you at the Drift. 
That was a false and cowardly act." 

" Oh ! " laughed Anthony, somewhat contemptuously ; 
' you maidens do not understand the sort of jokes we men 



176 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

play on each other. He meant no harm, and things went 
worse than he intended. None can have been more vexed 
at the turn they took than himself. He told me so." 

" What ! That a horse should go mad when burning 
touchwood is set in -his ear? " 

"He did not purpose to put it into his ear. The horse 
tossed his head, and Fox's hand Klipped." 

" And his hand slipped when your fingers were cut?" 

" No, not his hand, but his knife ; it was in his sleeve. 
You would not have had it slip upwards? " 

Urith was silent ; she was angered, vexed angered and 
vexe^l at Anthony's easy good-nature. Any excuse satisfied 
him. So with regard to his father's displeasure ; it did not 
concern him greatly cost him not an hour's wakefulness. 
All would come right in the end, he said, and satisfied 
himself with sanguine hope. His was a buoyant nature, the 
opposite to her own, which was gloomy and mistrustful. 
She raised no further objection to Anthony leaving her 
to return home alone. He was in a touchy mood, and, for 
the first time since their marriage, answered her testily. 

But she made allowance for him. He had been cut off 
from his friends, he had been forced out of his wonted 
course of life. He had been pinched for money, obliged to 
work hard. Was it not reasonable that on a fair-day and 
holiday he should wish to be with his old companions and 
make merry, and have a glass of ale or a bottle of sack ? 
Uncle Sol could not or would not accompany her home ; 
he also had friends to detain him, and purposed to pass 
the evening in an alehouse singing and making merry. 

Urith's knowledge of men, their ways, and their fancies, 
was limited to the study of her uncle ; and though she 
could not believe that her Anthony was a sot and witless, 
yet she supposed that he partook of the same taste for 
society and for the bottle, which she regarded as much a 
characteristic of men as a rough chin and a masculine 
voice. 

Anthony, with unconcern, was on his way to Kilworthy. 
This ancient mansion stood high, with its back to the north 
wind ; before it the hills fell away in noble park-land 
studded with oak and beech over a century old trees that 
Imd been planted by Judge Glanville in the reign of Eliz 
abeth and beyond the valley of the Tavy rose the tumbled, 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 177 

desolate ridges of Dartmoor, of a scabious blue, or wan 
as ashes. 

The side of the hill was hewn away near the house into 
a series of terraces, one planted with yews, the others rich 
with flowers. The house itself had that stately beauty 
that belongs to Elizabethan mansions. 

When Anthony arrived along with Fox, he was not a 
little surprised to see a large company assembled. Many 
of the young people and their parents of the best families 
around were there, sauntering in the gardens, or playing 
bowls on the green. 

He was surprised, for Fox had not prepared him to meet 
company, but he was pleased, for he had been cut off from 
society for some months, had hardly seen old friends, and 
now he was delighted to be among them, and his father 
being absent on the old familiar terms. The depression 
of his spirits gave way at once, and he was filled with 
cheerfulness and fun ; he played bowls, and when the dew 
fell, and it was deemed advisable for all to retire from the 
garden, he was most ready of all for a dance. 

Julian was also in high spirits ; she was looking remark 
ably pretty in a light summer dress. She met Anthony 
with frankness, and he engaged her for the first dance. 

The beauty of the place, the pleasant society, the profu 
sion of good food and wines, united to give Anthony sat 
isfaction. He appreciated all this so much the more, as ho 
had been deprived of these things for some time. It was 
true that he had enjoyed the company of Urith, but then 
Urith's circle of associates was almost nothing ; she did not 
know those people that he knew, was not interested about 
matters that woke in him curiosity. She could talk only 
of Willsworthy, and Willsworthy as a subject of conversa 
tion was easily exhausted. There was a freedom in the so 
ciety of those he now met, a want of constraint that de 
lighted him. When one topic ran dry another was started. 
With Urith conversation nagged, because there was no 
variety in the subjects of conversation. 

Then again the beauty and richness of the place grati 
fied his eye after the bleakness of Willsworthy. There, 
high on the moor side, only sycamores would grow here 
were trees of royal appearance, huge-trunked, with broad 
expanding branches, the aristocracy of trees as only seen ia 
13 



178 URITH: A TALE Of DARTMOOR. 

English parks, where they are given scope to expand from 
infancy. At home, moreover, the general narrowness of 
means and lack of management had not made of the table 
a place of enjoyment. A meal was necessary, something 
to be scrambled through and got over. No effort was 
made by Mrs. Malvine in earlier days to make it a gratifica 
tion for the palate, and it did not occur to Urith when she 
was married and mistress of the household that things 
might in this respect be improved. Anthony was no epi 
cure, but young men as well as old like to have palatable 
dishes set before them, and to have not only their wives 
well-dressed and tricked out, but also their dishes. Here also 
Urith failed. She disregarded personal adornment. Hand 
some though she was, she would have looked far hand 
somer had she cared to set off her charms with tasteful 
dress. She despised all solicitude about dress, and it was 
a little disappointment to Anthony that she took so little 
pains to do justice to herself in this respect. Now that he 
was in the midst of pretty girls, charmingly set off by their 
light gowns and bright ribbons, he felt as if he had stepped 
out of association with moths into that of butterflies out 
of a vegetable, into a flower-garden. 

Again, since his marriage indeed, ever since he had left 
Hall, he had felt the irksomeness of being without money, he 
had discovered the value of coin, and had learned that it 
could not be thrown away. He had nothing of his own, 
what coins he had in his pocket came to him from his wife. 

Now he was in a house where money seemed to be dis 
regarded. He need not drink sour cider, but take his 
choice of wines. He was not served at table by one old 
maid-of-all-work, but by liveried footmen, in the blue and 
yellow Glanville colours. The table was furnished with 
abundance of plate, engraved with the Glanville stags or 
the Crymes martlet. At Willsworthy he had used bone- 
handled knives and forks, and had eaten off pewter. 

He danced with Julian once more. She was bright, 
sparkling with merriment, full of lively sally, and she 
looked marvellously pretty. Anthony wondered at himself 
for not having observed it before, or at not having suffi 
ciently appreciated it. 

His sister arrived, somewhat late, and Anthony at once 
went to her, with both hands extended. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 179 

' Is Urith here ? " she asked. 
' No." 

'Why not?" 
' She was not invited." 
' Then why are you here ? " 
' For this good reason, that I was invited." 
'But, Tony," said Bessie, "you ought not to have ac 
cepted unless she was asked as well." 

"Nonsense ! Bet," exclaimed Anthony, fretfully. "I am 
not tied to her apron-strings. We have not met for months, 
and your first address to me is a rebuke." 

He walked away, annoyed, and rejoined Julian. 

What ! was he to be debarred visiting his friends 
spending a pleasant social evening with them because he 
was asked without his wife ! 

"I say, Tony," said Fox, into his ear, "what do you 
think of Kilworthy now ? You have thrown it away for 
the sake of a pair of sulky eyes aye, and Hall, too ? Well 
I have always heard say that love was madness ; but I never 
believed it till I heard what you had done." 

Anthony's pleasure was spoiled. The contrast between 
Kilworthy and Willsworthy had been unconsciously drawn 
in his mind before ; now it was fixed and brought into prom 
inence, and he saw and realised in a moment the tremend 
ous sacrifice he had made. From this minute he looked 
on all around him with other eyes. He saw what might 
have been his position, his wealth how he would have 
been esteemed and envied had he followed the coui'se 
mapped out for him by his father had he taken Julian 
instead of Urith. 

He looked again at Julian his eyes insensibly followed 
her and again he marvelled that hitherto there had been 
a veil over them, so that he had not appreciated her beauty. 
He could not withdraw his eyes : they pursued her where- 
ever she went. 

All at once she turned, with the consciousness that he 
was looking at her. Their eyes met, and he coloured to 
the temples. He blushed at his thoughts, for he was ask 
ing himself whether life, with such comfortable surround 
ings, would not have been more than bearable even de 
lightful at her side. 

In a moment he had recovered himself ; but not his light- 



180 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

heartedness that was gone. He asked for his horse, and 
then remembered that he had none. Urith had ridden 
home on his horse, therefore he must walk. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

GATHERING CLOUDS. 

Next day Anthony's brow was clouded, and hia manner 
had lost its usual cheerfulness. He was angry with himself 
for having been to Kil worthy. Bessie was right, he acknowl 
edged it now a slight had been put on his wife by his 
being invited without her. He ought to have seen this be 
fore. He ought to have refused the invitation. Then he 
remembered that he had been told nothing about a party 
at the house, so his auger was turned upon Fox, who had 
entrapped him into a false position. 

But this was not all. He was ashamed at himself for 
having for a moment reconsidered his conduct in taking 
Urith instead of Julian. In vain did he reason with him 
self that he had done something heroic in resigning such 
enormous advantages for the sake of a girl ; whether he 
liked it or not, the odious thought lurked in a corner of 
his heart and would not be expelled Was Urith worth the 
sacrifice ? 

There was much to humiliate him in his present state. 
He who had been wont to spend his money freely, had now 
to reckon his coppers and calculate whether he could afford 
the small outlay that slight pleasures entailed. And then 
these coppers were not his, but his wife's. He was liv 
ing on her bounty, indebted to her for every glass of ale he 
drank. Of his own, he had nothing. His confidence that 
his father's obstinacy would give way, and that he would 
be taken into favour again, was shaken. He began to fear 
that so long as his father lived he would remain in dis 
favour. That, on his father's decease, he would inherit 
Hall, he did not doubt for a moment. There was no one 
else to whom the old man could bequeath the estate. Bes 
sie was a girl, and Luke a parson disqualifications absolute. 

Most heartily did he wish that the misunderstanding with 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 181 

his father were at an end. It was a degradation for him 
for him, the heir of the Cleverdons to be sponging on his 
wife. The situation was intolerable. But how was it to be 
altered ? He could not force his father to reconciliation. 
His pride forbade his going to him and acting the prodigal 
son. His heart grew hot and bitter against the old man 
for his unreasonable and persistent hostility, which had 
reduced him to a position so pitiable and humiliating. 

Then there arose before his mind's eye the beautiful 
grounds and noble mansion of Kilworthy, the pleasant 
company there and Julian. He shook his head impa 
tiently, set his teeth, and stamped on the floor, but he 
could not rid himself of the thoughts. 

"I do not see, 'fore Heaven, why we should not have a 
clean table-cover," he said at dinner ; "nor why every dish 
should be huddled on to the board at once. I am not a 
pig, and accustomed to feed as in a stye." 

Urith looked at him with surprise, and saw that dis 
pleasure was lowering on his brow. 

She answered him gently, but he spoke again in the same 
peevish, fault-finding tones. He complained that the pew 
ter dishes were hacked with knives, and the mugs bent out 
of shape and unpolished. If they must eat as do servants 
in a kitchen, let them at least have the utensils in trim 
order. 

Urith sought in vain to dispel the ill-humour that trou 
bled him ; this was her first experience of domestic dis 
agreement. The tears came into her eyes from disappoint 
ment, and then his ill-humour proved contagious. She 
caught the infection and ceased to speak. This annoyed 
him, and he asked her why she said nothing. 

" When there are clouds over Lynx Tor there is, vapour 
over Hare Tor as well," she answered. " If you are in gloom 
I am not like to be in sunshine. What ails you ? " 

"It is too maddening that my father should remain stub 
born," he said. "You cannot expect me to be always gay, 
with the consciousness that I am an outcast from Hall." 

She might have answei'ed sharply, and the lightning 
would then have flashed from cloud to cloud, had not, at 
that moment, Luke entered the house. 

" Come at last ! " was Anthony's ungracious salutation. 

" I have not been here often, certainly," said Luke, " for 



182 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

I did wot suppose you wanted me ; the parson is desired 
by those in sorrow and tears, not by those in perfect happi 
ness." 

" Oh ! " said Anthony, " it is not as the parson we want 
you, but as a cousin and comrade." 

Urith asked Luke if he would have a share of the meal 
just concluded. He shook his head ; he had eaten before 
leaving the rectoi-y. He had taken his meal early, so as 
to be sure of catching Anthony at home before he went 
abroad. 

As Luke spoke he turned his eyes from his cousin to 
Urith, and saw by the expression of their faces that some 
trouble was at their hearts ; but he had the tact not to ad 
vert to it, and to wait till they of their own accord revealed 
the cause. 

"Have you been to Hall lately? Have you seen my 
father ? " asked Anthony, after a pause, with his eyes on 
the table. 

" I have not been there ; your father will not see me. 
He cannot forgive the hand I had in making you happy." 

" Then you have no good news to bring me ? " 

" None thence. I have talked to Bessie 

" So have I. I saw her yesterday at Kil worthy, and she 
scolded me instead of comforting me." 

" Comforting you ! Why, Anthony, I do not suppose 
for an instant that she thought you needed comfort." 

" Should I not, when my father shuts me out of his 
house out of what should be mine the house that will be. 
mine some day ! It is inhuman ! " 

" I can quite believe that your father's hardness causes 
you pain, but no advantage is gained by brooding over it 
You cannot alter his mood, and must patiently endure till 
it changes. Instead of altering his for the better, you may 
deteriorate your own by fretful repining." 

Anthony tossed his head. 

" You, too, in the fault-finding mood ! All the world is 
in league against me." 

" Take my advice," said Luke ; " put Hall out of your 
thoughts and calculations. You may have to wait much 
longer than you imagined at one time till your father re 
lents ; you know that he is tough in his purpose, and firm 
in his resolution. He will not yield without a struggle 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 183 

with bis pride. So act as if Hall were no more yours than 
Kilworthy." 

Anthony winced, and looked up hastily, his colour dark 
ened, and he began hastily and vehemently to rap at the 
table. 

" Kilworthy ! " Why had Luke mentioned that place by 
name ? was he also mocking him, as Fox had yestereven, 
for throwing away his chance of so splendid a possession. 

Luke did not notice that this reference had touched a 
vibrating string in his cousin's conscience. He went on, 
"Do not continue to reckon on what may not be yours. 
It is possible though I do not say it is likely that your 
father may disinherit you. Face the worst, be prepared 
for the worst, and then, if things turn out better than you 
anticipated, well! you unman yourself by living for, reck 
oning on, dead men's boots ; make yourself shoes out of 
your own hide, and be content that you have the where 
withal to cover your feet." 

" You think it possible that my father may never come 
round even on his death-bed? " 

" God grant he may," answered Luke, gravely. " But 
he entertains an old and bitter grudge against your wife's 
father, and this grudge has passed over to, and invests her. 
God grant His grace that he may come to a better mind, for 
if he goes out of this life with this grudge on his heart, he 
cannot look to find mercy when he stands before the throne 
of his Judge." 

Anthony continued drumming on the table with his 
fingers. 

" My recommendation is," continued Luke, " that you 
rest your thoughts on what you have, not on what you have 
not. And you have much to be thankful for. You have a 
wife whom you love dearly, and who loves you no less de 
votedly. You are your own master, living on your own 
estate, and in your own manor house. So live for that, 
care for that, cultivate your own soil, and your own family 
happiness, and let the rest go packing." 

" My own house ! my own land ! " exclaimed Anthony. 
" These are fine words, but they are false. Willsworthy is 
not mine, it belongs to Urith." 

"Anthony ! " cried his wife, "what is mine you know is 
yours wholly, freely." 



184 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Well," said. Luke, with heat, " and if Hall had been 
yours when you took Urith, it would have been no longer 
mine or thine, but ours. So it is with Willsworthy. Love 
is proud to receive and to give, and it never reckons what 
it gives as enough, and accepts what it receives as wholly 
its own." 

Anthony shrugged his shoulders, then set his elbows on 
the table, and put his head in his hands. 

" I reckon it is natural that I should grieve over the 
alienation from my father." 

" You are not grieving over it because it is an alienation 
from your father, but from Hall, with the comforts and 
luxuries to which you were accustomed there." 

" Do you not see," exclaimed Anthony, impatiently, " that 
it is I who should support my wife, and not my wife who 
should find me in bread and butter? Our proper positions 
are reversed." 

"Not at all. Willsworthy has gone to rack and ruin, 
and if it be brought back to prosperity, it will be through 
your energy and hard work." 

" Hard work ! " echoed Anthony. " I have had more of 
that since I have been here than ever I had before." 

" Well, and why not? You are not afraid of work, are 
you?" 

" Afraid ! No. But I was not born to be a day la 
bourer." 

" You were born, Anthony, the son of a yeoman family 
which has worked hard to bring itself up into such a con 
dition that now it passes for a family of gentry. Do not 
forget that, and do not blush for yourself when you use 
the muck-fork or the spade, or you are unworthy of your 
stout-hearted ancestors." 

Anthony laughed. The cloud was dispelled. This allu 
sion to the family and its origin touched and pleased him. 
He had often joked over his father's pretensions. He put 
forth his hand to his cousin, who clasped it warmly. 

" All well, old friend, you are right. If I have to build 
up a new branch of the Cleverdons, it is well. I am con 
tent. Fill the tankard to the prosperity of the Cleverdons 
of Willsworthy and to the dogs with Hall ! " 

Anthony put his arm round Urith's waist. The clouds 
had cleared, and, as they rolled off his brow that of Urith 



UR1TH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 185 

brightened also. Luke rose to depart. He would not 
suffer his cousin to attend him from the door. He went forth 
alone ; and, when he had passed the gate, he halted, raised 
his hand, and said, " Peace be to this house ! " Yet he said 
it with doubt in his heart. He had seen a ruffle on the 
placid water, and that ruffle might forebode a storm. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

ON THE TEKRACE. 

Months had passed. On the 6th of February, 1685, 
died Charles II, and James, Duke of York, succeeded to 
the throne. At once, through England, the story was 
spread that he had been poisoned by the Jesuits to secure the 
succession for James, and forestall the purpose of the King 
to declare the legitimacy of his son, the Duke of Monmouth. 
So great was the suspicion entertained against James, that 
this slander was very widely believed, and alarm and re 
sentment grew in the hearts of the people. On the very 
first Sunday after his father's death James went in solemn 
state to Mass, and at his Coronation refused to receive the 
Sacrament at the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

When the crown was set on his head it slipped, and nigh 
fell on the floor ; and this little incident was whispered, 
then bruited, through England, and was regarded as a 
token from heaven that he was not the rightful Sovereign, 
but an usurper. 

Then came the punishment of that scoundrel, Titus 
O.ites, richly deserved ; but Oates was a popular favourite, 
and his chastisement raised him to the pedestal of a 
Protestant martyr. 

It was well known that James aimed at the repeal of the 
Habeas Corpus Act, and at the toleration even promotion 
of Popery, and the country was in fevered agitation and 
brooding anger at what was menaced. 

Such was the condition of affairs in the spring of 1685. 

There had been catching weather, a few days of bright 
sunshirie, and then thunder-showers. Then the sky had 



186 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

cleared, the wind was well up to the north, and, though 
the sun was hot, the air was fresh. It was scented, every 
where except on the moor, with the fragrance of hay. 

Julian Cryines was out of doors enjoying the balmy air 
and the sloping, golden rays of the evening sun. She had 
some embroidery in her hands ; but she worked little at it 
Her eyes looked away dreamily at the distant moor, and 
specially at a little grey patch of sycamores, that seemed 
so remote were they against the silvery moor, to be a 
cloud-shadow. Behind that grey tuft rose Ger Tor, strewn 
with granite boulders ; and on one side opened the blue 
cleft of the Tavy, where it had sawn for itself a way from the 
moor-land into the low country. The dark eyes of the girl 
were full to spilling so full that, had she tried to con 
tinue her needlework, she would have been unable to see 
how to make her stitches. 

Her breath came short and quick, for she was suffering 
real pain that gnawing ache which in its initiation is 
mental, but which becomes sensibly physical. 

Julian had loved Anthony. She loved him still. When 
he had come that evening of the fair to Kilworthy, her 
heart had bounded : her head had been giddy with pleas 
ure at seeing him again above all, at seeing him without 
his wife. Towards Urith she felt implacable, corroding 
hatred. That girl with no merit that she could see, only 
a gloomy beauty a beauty as savage as the moors on the 
brink of which she lived, and on which Anthony had found 
her that girl had shaken to pieces at a touch her cloud- 
castle of happiness, and dissolved it into a rain of salt dis 
appointment. 

Anthony was taken from her, taken from her for ever, 
and her own hopes laid in the dust. Julian had battled 
with her turbulent heart ; her conscience had warned her 
to forget Anthony, and at times she really felt as if she had 
conquered her passion. No sooner, however, did she see 
Anthony again, than it woke up in full strength ; and 
whenever she saw Urith, her jealous rage shook itself and 
sharpened its claws. 

Her father was away in London, and on the seat beside 
her lay a letter she had that day received from him. He 
had written full of uneasiness at the political and religious 
situation. Recently the Earl of Bath had been down in 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 187 

the West of England with new charters to towns in Devon 
and Cornwall, constituting new electoral bodies, or alter 
ing the former bodies, and a hurried election had ensued, 
in which great pressure had been used to obtain the return 
of the Court party, of Catholics and Tories, by intimidation 
on the one side and by bribery on the other. Mr. Cryrnes, 
however, supported by the authority of the Earl of Bed- 
foul, had been returned for Tavistock in the Protestant in 
terest, and he was now in London, sitting in the first Par 
liament summoned by James II. 

Titus Gates, whom the Protestants, or at all events the 
more ignorant and prejudiced among them, believed in as 
a faithful witness, had been whipped from Aldgate to New 
gate one day, and two days after, again from Newgate to 
Tj'burn, for having revealed the Popish Plot, which was 
declared to be a fabrication of his own imagination. He 
and Dangerfield, another of these witnesses, had been pil 
loried. The King meditated the repeal of the Habeas Cor 
pus and the forcible introduction of the Roman Catholic 
religion. It was rumoured that there was a rising in Scot 
land, headed by the Duke of Argyle ; there was a great un 
easiness in London, and a disturbance of spirits throughout 
the country. Though the Members of Parliament had 
been elected in a questionable manner, so as to bring to 
gether an undue preponderance of creatures of the Court ; 
yet it had not proved itself as submissive as the King ex 
pected. The letter concluded with the words: "How 
this will all end, God knows. For myself, I doubt whether 
there will not be great troubles again even as there were 
in the times of His Sacred Majesty King Charles I. For 
mine own part, I would resist even unto blood, rather than 
see our religion set at naught, and our liberties trampled 
under foot by Jesuits ; and my daily prayer is that the 
Lord will avert such things from us, and yet with such ex 
travagance and determination do things appear to be 
pressed forward with this end, that I have not hope myself 
of a peaceable issue." 

Had Mr. Crymes been then beside his daughter, he 
might have supposed that the sad political outlook had dis 
turbed her mind, and had brought the tears to her eyes 
and the flush to her cheeks ; but she had read his letter 
with indifference. His gloomy forecasts had hardly affected 



183 URITII: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

her at all, for her heart was filled with its own peculiar 
bitterness. 

What prospect of happiness opened before her? She 
c.ired for no one ; she could care for no one after having 
given up her heart to Anthony. From childhood she had 
looked up to him as her allotted husband she had grown 
up with a daily-increasing devotion to him. His good looks, 
his frankness had helped to make of him an idol before 
whom she bowed down and worshipped. He was swept out 
of the horizon of her ambition, and it had left that prospect 
utterly blank and colourless. She had valued her fortune, 
her home, only as means of enriching Anthony, and giving 
him a worthy position in the county. Her fortune was 
now wholly without value to her. She would have been 
contented to be a beggar with him, if she could have pos 
sessed him wholly as her own. 

Suddenly she started, and lost her colour ; she saw An 
thony coming up the drive to the house. He also saw her 
on the terrace, in her white gown under the yew-trees, and 
he waved his hat to her. She beckoned to him ; she could 
not help herself. She knew that it would have been right 
for her to fly up the steps and hide in the walled garden 
which occupied the slope of the hill above the terraces, but 
she was powerless to move to withhold her hand from 
signing to him to draw near. 

He obeyed at once, and came up the steps to the first 
terrace with a shouted salutation. 

How handsome he was ! What dark, sparkling eyes ! 
What wavy long hair, that fell over his brow and cheeks as 
he took off his broad-brimmed hat, so that he was forced 
to put his hands to his face and brush the thick curly locks 
back. 

Julian did not rise ; she sat on her bench as though 
frozen, and her blood stood still in her arteries. She looked 
at him with eyes large and trembling between the lashes. 
Then he came striding towards her, with his hearty salu 
tation, and at once all the blood that had been arrested in 
her veins, as Jordan when the Ark stood in its course, 
rushed back in pent-up, burning floods, and so blinded 
and stunned her that for a moment or two she could neither 
see nor speak. 

After a few moments, during which he stood respectfully 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 189 

by her, hat in hand, she looked up into his eyes, and asked 
why he had come. 

He was warm with walking, and the drops stood on his 
brow, and he had a heightened glow in his face. He was 
handsomer than ever, she exclaimed inwardly, and then 
thought, "Oh! if he had been mine! been mine! as he 

ought to have been as he would have been but for " 

Then she checked herself, assumed a coolness she did not 
feel, and asked, "Has anything else brought you here than 
the desire to give us honest pleasure at seeing again an old 
friend?" 

" Indeed, Julian," answered Anthony, " I have come on 
more self-seeking purposes. We are behind with our hay 
at Willsworthy. The place lies so high, and is so bleak, 
that we are a fortnight behind you here ; and then the 
weather has played us tricks, so that none has as yet been 
saved. I want additional help ; there are none save our 
two men and myself. Solomon Gibbs counts naught, and 
I cannot ask help from Hall, as you well know. I do not 
desire to ask a favour elsewhere, and so I have come here 
to see Fox, and ask his help." 

" Fox is away I believe he is at Hall. But I can answer 
your question, and grant your petition, which I do with a 
ready heart. How many men do you want ? I will send 
all you desire I will come myself and help toss the hay 
No," she checked herself, as the thought of Urith rose with 
in, " no, I will not go near Willsworthy myself, but I will 
send the woi'kmen." 

" I thank you," answered Anthony. " We do not grow rich 
shears of hay as you do here ; but what does grow is said 
to be sweet. I hope it may be so, for it is not over-much." 

There was a tone of disparagement in reference to 
Willsworthy that struck Julian. 

" I have heard Fox comment on the place," she said, t( and 
he thinks well of it." 

"A thing may look well at a distance, that won't bear 
looking into close at hand," said Anthony. 

She looked at him, and his eyes fell. He had not meant 
more than he had said, but when she thus glanced up with 
a query in her eyes, he thought that perhaps his words 
might apply to other things than grass fields and tumble 
down farm buildings. 



190 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Julian took up the letter from the seat by her, and passed 
her hand lightly over the seat, as a sign to him to take it. 

He did so, without more ado. He was heated and tired 
with his walk. 

Then Julian resumed her embroidery, and bowed her 
head over it. She waited for him to start some topic of 
conversation. But he was silent. He who had formerly 
been full of talk and mirth, had become reserved and 
grave. 

After a long and painful silence, Julian asked, in a low 
voice, " What is TJrith about? " 

"I beg your pardon ?" asked Anthony, roused out of a 
reverie. " Urith what about Urith ? " 

" I asked what she was about." 

" I cannot tell. Nothing in particular, I suppose." 

The same tone as that in which he had spoken about 
Willsworthy. 

" Your marriage does not seem to have improved your 
spirita I miss your olden gaiety." 

" I have enough to take that out of me. There is my fa 
ther's continued ill-humour. What think you of that, Jul 
ian ? Is there any immediate prospect of his coming to a 
better mind ? " 

" My brother could answer this question better than I, 
for I have no occasion or opportunity for speaking with 
your father, whereas Fox is over at Hall twice or thrice in 
the week." 

"What makes him go there?" 

" There you ask me what once more I cannot answer. 
But let us say he goes in your interest. He is your friend." 

" About the only friend I have left," said Anthony, with 
bitterness. 

" Fox is not the man I would choose if I had the selec 
tion," said Julian. " I should know him better than most, 
as he is my brother that is to say, my half-brother. I 
thank God only my half-brother. Take heed to yourself, 
Anthony, that he does not play you a scurvy trick." 

"What can he do?" 

" You are generous and forgiving. Fox is neither. He 
has not forgiven you that blow with the glove that injured 
his eye." 

" You wrong him, Julian." 



URITH: A TALfi OF DARTMOOR. 191 

* All I can say to you is do not trust Lim. I never 
never trust him. If he says one thing he means the con 
trary. Did he tell you that he went to Hall with the end 
of persuading your father to forgive you ? " 

" He did not even mention to me that he saw my father 
often." 

"Well," said Julian, drawing a long breath, " whilst we 
are together, which is not often now, not as it was, let us 
talk of matters more pleasant than the habits and ways of 
action of Fox." 

" What shall we talk about ? " 

" There ! " said Julian, putting her father's letter into his 
hand. " Kead that. If you cannot find a topic, I must help 
you to one." 

Anthony read the letter with an elbow on each knee and 
his legs wide apart, so that his head was bent low. As he 
read, Julian's eyes were on him. Involuntarily a sigh es 
caped her bosom. If he thought of it at all he attributed 
it to sympathy with her father's anxiety ; had he looked 
up and seen her face, he would have been undeceived. It 
was well for him that he did not. 

The letter interested him greatly. Like the bulk of the 
young men of the West, he was keenly alive to the political 
situation, and was a hot partisan. The gathering together 
of the men in taverns led to eager discussion of politics ; 
the orderly Government of the Protector, and the extrava 
gance and exactions of the restored Royalty, had aroused 
comparison. Under Old Noll the name of England had 
been respected abroad, and the English people could not 
forget and forgive the humiliation of the Dutch fleet in 
the Medway and the burning of Chatham. Those who had 
no love for Puritanism were, nevertheless, ardent supporters 
of Liberty, and firmly resolved that their country should 
not be brought under Roman Catholic despotism. The ill- 
treatment of the Waldenses had roused great feeling in 
England, collections for them had been made in every 
parish church, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes was 
not forgotten, the exiled Protestants filled all England 
with the tale of the cruelties and oppression to which they 
had been subjected, and had helped to deepen to a dogged 
determination in men's hearts the resolve never to suffer the 
Roman religion to obtain the mastery again in the land. 



192 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Anthony's brow darkened and Lis lips tightened as he 
read. When he had done the letter he started to his feet, 
planted his hat on his head, and exclaimed : 

" My God ! I wish it would coine to blows, and that I 
could carry a pike." 

" Pshaw ! " said Julian ; " what excitable creatures you 
men are concerning matters that move us not a whit. I 
have forgotten what my father wrote about Against whom 
would you trail a pike ? With whom come to blows ? " 

Anthony did not answer, for it was not easy to reply to 
these questions. He would fight for liberty and religion. 
But against whom ? He dare not breathe even to himself 
the thought that it would be against his King. 

" And, pray, why come to blows ? " 

" If you had read your father's letter with attention, you 
would know. For my part, I should hail war, if there were 
a chance of it, that I might have some occupation for my 
hands." 

" You have the hay," said Julian, ironically. 

" I want space to move, air to breathe. I am cramped. 
I I do not know what I want," he said, and dashed his 
hat on the ground again, and threw himself into the seat 
by Julian. 

" How would Urith relish you taking the pike for any 
cause ? " 

Anthony did not answer. He was looking sullenly, mu 
singly before him. He had found out what troubled him 
what took the brightness out of his life. The circle in 
which he moved, in which his energies were expended, was 
too cramped. To make hay ! Was that a fitting work to 
occupy his mind and powers of body ? His world was 
that to be the little two-hundred-acre estate of Wills- 
worthy ? 

" You have not been married above two months, and 
you are already sighing with impatience to be away in a 
battle-field anywhere but at home, poor Anthony ! ' Her 
face was turned from him that he might not see how her 
cheeks flamed. 

He said nothing. He did not even bid her a good-by ; 
but he rose, resumed his hat, and walked away, with his 
head down, absorbed in his thoughts. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 193 

CHAPTEE XXVtt 

MATRIMONIAL PLANS. 

Squire Cleverdon did not often visit his sister. She was 
vastly proud when he did. What she would have liked 
would have been for him to drive up to her door in a 
coach and four, the driver cracking his whip on the box ; 
but Squire Cleverdon did not keep a coach. Why should 
he ? He had no womankind to consider in his household. 
Of the fair and inferior sex there was but Bessie, and Bes 
sie never counted in old Anthony Cleverdon's calculations. 
Had his wife lived, he probably would have had his coach, 
like other gentlemen, not to please and accommodate her, 
but out of ostentation. But as his wife had departed to 
another world, and Bessie was too inconsiderable a person 
to be reckoned, he was glad to be able to spare his purse 
the cost of a coach, which he could hardly have purchased 
under a hundred pounds. As Magdalen Cleverdon could 
not see her brother drive up in a coach, she was forced to 
be satisfied to see him come as he would, on horseback, 
followed by two serving -men in his livery, and to be content 
that her neighbours should observe that the Cleverdons 
maintained so much state as to have men in livery to at 
tend on the head of the house. 

She was much surprised one day to see him come on foot 
without attendants. He was not a man to show his 
thoughts in his face, which was hard and wooden, but his 
eyes expressed his feelings when the rest of his face was 
under control that is, when he did not screw down the 
lids and conceal them. 

Accordingly Magdalen could not gather from her bro 
ther's countenance the purport of his visit, though she 
scrutinised it curiously. 

He seated himself in one of her chairs, near the table, 
and laid his stick across his knees ; Magdalen waited with 
the deference she usually paid him till he began the conver 
sation ; but he also, with unwonted hesitation, deferred his 
communication to allow her to open the ball. 

The silence became irksome to her, and she was the first 
13 



194: URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

to interrupt it, and then with the remark that she was sur 
prised to see him arrive aloue, and on foot. 

" One does not require to have all the town know I am 
here, and know how many minutes I remain," said he rudely, 
in reply. 

Then again silence fell on both. 

After another painful pause, Magdalen began : " Really, 
brother, I should like to know for what reason you have 
come to do me the honour, and afford_me the pleasure of your 
company. The white witch has a crystal into which he 
looks, and in which he reads what he desires to know ; but 
you veil your eyes, and I cannot discover, or attempt to 
discover, thence what your purport might be in coming 
hither." 

Old Cleverdon fidgeted in his chair, dropped his stick, 
picked it up again, and blurted forth : " I suppose you get 
that disobedient son of mine tumbling in here every few 
days." 

"Indeed, I do not, brother. Do you suppose that I 
countenance such rebellious conduct?" 

"I did not know. I considered, as he might not show 
his face in Hall, that he came here for news about the 
place and me." 

" I do not deny that I have seen him ; but only rarely. 
He never did affect my company greatly, and I cannot say 
that he visits me more frequently since his marriage than 
he did before." 

" I am glad to hear it. How is he getting on in his pig- 
stye." 

" I have not been there to see. He and she are content 
with it for a while, and make no doubt that in the end you 
will forgive them, and be the best of fathers." 

"Do they?" exclaimed the Squire, with a harsh laugh 
and a fl vme on his cheek. " Do they think that I have a 
head of dough, to be moulded into what shape they list?" 
He struck the table with his stick, so as to startle his sis 
ter and make her jump in her chair. 

" Good heavens, brother ! How excitable you are," said 
Magdalen ; " and I dare be bound you do not know that 
Mistress Penwarne is taken into the Rectory at Peter Tavy, 
as housekeeper to your most dutiful and respectful nephew 
Luke an ancient harridan who, having set her daughter 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 195 

against you , now does her utmost to make wildfire between 
your son and you." 

" What wildfire burns atwixt us is of his own kindling," 
said Squire Cleverdou. " And does she reckon on setting 
herself in my armchair, and ruling in my house, indeed ! 
My son I might forgive had he married any other, but not 
for having taken Urith." 

" One beggarly marriage is enough in the family," said 
Magdalen. -The expression had slipped her tongue with 
out consideration. She saw at once, by the twitching of 
her brother's muscles, that she had stung and enraged him. 
She hastened to amend her error by saying, " Yes, you 
were drawn in by their designing ways. You had not then 
the knowledge of the world that you now have. Having 
been entangled by unscrupulous and poor wretches your 
self, you would not have your son fall a prey to the like 
but he would sow his wild oats, and now must reap his 
crop." 

" Yes," said old Anthony, " he must reap his crop, 
which will not grow one of oats, but of thistles and nettles. 
Tis a cruel shame that Kil worthy should go from the fam- 

iiy." 

' " It has never been in it." 

" That is true never in actual possession, but so long in 
prospect as to almost constitute a claim." 

" But gone it is. Gone past the possibility of your get 
ting it." 

" I am not so confident of that as you seem to be," said 
Old Cleverdon, snappishly. " In faith, sister Magdalen, 
you appear wondrous blind. Is there no way of it coming, 
nevertheless, to be joined to Hall?" 

" None that I can see. If Fox took Bessie to wife, he 
could not bring Kilworthy with him, for that goes with 
Julian." 

" Exactly. It goes with Julian ; but who will take 
her?" 

" You have no second son." 

"No, I have not." 

" Surely you do not dream of making Luke your heir, 
and marrying him to Julian Crymes ? " 

"Luke! who defied me by marrying Anthony to that 
hussy ? " 



196 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" I thought not, brother, but as the Lord is my helper 
I see no other way of compassing it." 

" It has never lightened on your mind that I might take 
a second wife." 

" You ! " Magdalen fell back in her chair, and raised 
her hands in amazement. " You, brother Anthony ! 
You!" 

" Even so," he answered, grimly. " I am not young, 
but I am lusty ; I am a man of substance, ^nd I reckon 
that Mistress Julian is not so besotted as was my son. 
She, I presume, has had a desire like to mine, that the two 
estates should be united, so as to make a large domain, and 
as she cannot effect this by marrying an unripe fool, she 
can gain the same end by taking me, a wise and mellow 
man of the woi'ld. The end is the same. The two prop 
erties are united, and Julian Crymes has ever struck me 
as having a clear and healthy mind. So I doubt not 
she will be as content to have me as that Merry Andrew 
and Jack o' the Green, who has thrown himself away at 
Willsworthy." 

Magdalen's astonishment held her speechless for some 
time ; at last, seeing that her brother was offended at the 
astonishment she exhibited, she said, " But, brother ! has 
she given you any hopes ? " 

" She has not. I have not approached her on the sub 
ject, but I thought that you, as a woman, might sound her. 
Yet, I am not without my reasons for believing that my 
suit would be accepted though not immediately. Fox 
Crymes has given me reason to hope." 

" Fox ! But what " 

" If you will have patience, Magdalen, and will allow me 
to conclude what I was saying, your mind will be more en 
lightened, and you will cease to express so unbecoming, 
such indecorous, so gross incredulity. You forget my 
position and my wealth. I am not, indeed, a Member of 
Parliament, as is my friend Crymes, but I might have been 
had my views been more favourable to the Catholic party. 
I have seen a good deal of Master Anthony Crymes, my 
godson, of late ; he has been to Hall several times in the 
week, and then I threw out in an uncertain way, and as 
if in sport the notion that, as Anthony had proved false, 
and had disappointed Julian of her ambition to have the 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 197 

two estates united, that I would consider about it, and 
might persuade myself to accommodate her views by step 
ping into the position thrown up by my son." 

" And what did he say ? " 

" He did not open his mouth and eyes into a stare un 
becoming to the face, and impertinent to me. He accepted 
the proposition cordially. He saw nothing strange, pre 
posterous, ridiculous in it. I should like to see," said the 
squire, working himself up into a white heat, "I should 
like to see anyone, yon, sister Magdalen, excepted, who 
would dare to find anything strange, preposterous, ridicul 
ous in me, or in any proposition that I make." 

" I tender ten thousand excuses," said Magdalen, humbly. 
"But, brother, you entirely misunderstand me. If I gaped " 

"You did gape." 

" I know I gaped and stared. I admit I opened my eyes 
wide, it was with astonishment at your genius, at the clever 
and unexpected way in which you overcame a great diffi 
culty, and rallied after a great disappointment." 

" Oh ! It was that, was it ? " asked the Squire, relaxing 
some of his severity and cooling. 

". On my word as a gentlewoman. I never employed 
those words you attribute to me. Indeed I did not. The 
only expletives becoming are of a very different quality. 
So Fox agreed to the proposal ? " 

" Most heartily and warmly." 

"But, brother, I misdoubt me if Fox has much influence 
with his sister. They are ever spitting and clawing at 
each other, and it hath appeared to me and yet I may be 
wrong that whatsoever the one suggests the other rejects ; 
tliP3 T make a point of conscience of differing from each other." 

" All that," said the squire, " all that have I foreseen, and 
I have provided against it. The proposal shall not be 
covertly favoured by Fox. He shall, indeed, appear to set 
his face against it, but we shall make Bessie our means of 
breaking the ice, and drawing us together. I have some 
notion of letting Fox become Bessie's suitor now, when 
he is accepted, and has " 

"But brother!" 

" What in the name of the seven stars do you mean by 
your buts thrown in whenever I speak ? It is indecorous, 
it is insulting, Magdalen." 



198 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" I meant no harm, brother all I ask is, has Bessie 
given her consent?" 

" Bessie is not Anthony. What her father chooses, that 
she is ready to submit to. I have always insisted on her 
obedience in all things, and without questioning, to my 
will, and I have no reason to suppose that in this matter 
she will go against my interests." 

"But brother!" 

Master Cleverdou impatiently struck the table. " Did I 
not tell you, sister Magdalen, that your buts were an of 
fence to me ? Will you join with Anthony in resistance and 
rebellion against rue me, the head of the house ? I have 
not come here, pray understand, to discuss this matter 
with you, as though it needed to be considered and deter 
mined upon conjointly between us, but to tell you what I 
have decided upon, and to require you, as you value my 
regard, and look for any advantages to be gotten from your 
connection with Hall, to support me, and to exercise all 
your influence for me, and not against me." 

" You cannot suppose for one moment, brother, that I 
would do anything against you." 

" I cannot say. Since Anthony revolted I have lost all 
confidence in everyone. But I have no time to squander. 
Understand me. Persuade Bessie, should she show tokens 
of disobedience which is catching as the plague a dis 
like to submit herself in all things to my wishes, then you 
may hold up Anthony as a warning to her, and let her un 
derstand that as I have dealt by him, so I will deal by her 
if she resists me. Now you will see what is my intention. 
When Bessie is married to Anthony Crymes, they will live 
with me, for Anthony and Julian will be much forward and 
backward between the two houses, as Bessie is her best of 
friends ; and thus she will come to see much of me and of 
Hall, and will be the more ready insensibly, so to speak, 
to slide into my arms, and into the union of the two estates. 
Not that I suppose at present she has any objection to me, 
but, as Fox says, she will require some justification before 
the world for taking the father after having been rejected 
by the son. If she is often over at Hall, why all wonder 
will cease, and it will come about with the smoothness of 
an oiled wheel." 

" I suppose so, brother but " 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 199 

The Squire started up with an oath. "I shall regard 
you as an opponent." he said, " with your eternal objec 
tions. Consider what I have said, act on it, and so alone 
will you maintain your place in my regard." 

Then he left the house, grumbling, and slammed the 
door behind him, to impress on his sister how ill pleased 
he was with her conduct. 

Time had not filled the cleft between Anthony and his 
father ; and Fox Crymes had done his best to prevent its 
being filled or being bridged over ; for he now saw a good 
deal of the old Squire Cleverdon, and he took opportunity 
to drop a corrosive remark occasionally into the open and 
rankling wound, so as to inflame and anger it. Now it 
was a reported speech of Anthony, showing how he calcu 
lated on his father's forgiveness ; or a statement of what he 
would do to the house, or with the trees, when his father 
died and he succeeded to Hall ; or else Fox told of some 
slighting remark on the beggary of everything at Wills- 
worthy, made by a villager, or imagined for the occasion 
by himself. 

The old man, without suspecting it, was being turned 
about the finger of the cunning young Crymes, who had 
made up his mind to obtain the hand of Elizabeth and with 
it Hall. So could he satisfy his own ambition, and best re 
venge himself on Anthony and Urith. 

The wit and malice of Fox acted as a grinding-stone on 
which the anger of the Squire was being constantly whet 
ted, as if it had not at the first been sharp enough. 

The old man could not endure the idea of his property 
ever falling to the daughter of Richard Mai vine of Mai- 
vine blood ever reigning within the walls of his mansion. 

He hud not yet altered his will, and he could not resolve 
how to do this. He did not desire to constitute Bessie his 
heiress. He could not reconcile himself to the thought of 
Hall passing out of the direct line, of another than a Clev 
erdon owning the estate where his ancestors had sat for 
centuries, and which he had made into his own freehold. 
All the disgust he had felt when Elizabeth was born, and 
he found himself father of a daughter as his first-born, woke 
up again, and he could not bring himself to constitute her 
his heiress. Yet, on the other hand, it was equally, if not 
more, against his will that it should pass to his revolted son 



200 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

and the daughter of his mortal enemy. As he was thus 
tossing between two odious alternatives, the idea of marry 
ing Julian himself lightened on his mind, and he seized it 
with desperate avidity ; yet not without a doubt he refused 
to give utterance to, or permit in another. In a vague 
manner he hoped that the union of Fox and Bessie might 
pave the way to his own rnamage with Julian. 



CHAPTER XXVm. 

A WIDENING OF THE BTFT. 

"Urith," said Anthony, "we are to go together to the 
dance at the Cakes ; I have said we would." 

" The dance, Anthony ! It cannot be." 

" Why not ? Because I particularly desire it ? " 

" Nay not so, assuredly ; but the time is so short since 
my mother's death." 

" But our marriage makes that as nought. It has turned 
the house of mourning into one of merriment or it 
should have done so. It suffices I intend to go, and I will 
take you with me." 

" Nay Anthony, I would not cross you " 

" You do you object." He spoke with irritation. " Do 
you not see, Urith, that this life of seclusion is intolerable 
to me ? I have been unaccustomed to the existence which 
befits a hermit. I have been wont to attend every merry 
making that took place to laugh and dance and sing there, 
and eat and drink and be happy. I protest that it is to me 
as displeasing to be without my amusement as it would be 
to a kingfisher to be without his brook, or a peewhit to be 
condemned to a cage." 

"But cannot you go without me?" asked Urith, discon 
certed. 

" No ; it will be noted and remarked on. You are my 
wife you are a bride. You ought to, you must, appeal- 
where others are. Why should you spend all your life in 
the loneliness of this this Willsworthy ? Do you not feel 
as cramped by it as must have felt Noah in the Ark ? " 

" I do not, Anthony." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 201 

"You do not, because you have never been out of the 
Ark ; bred in it, you are accustomed to its confined atmos 
phere. I am not. I love to meet with and be merry with 
my fellows, and I cannot go alone. Why, Urith, on the 
fair day I went to Kil worthy, and there was Bessie. What 
did she say to me, but ' You should not be here, be at any 
entertainment in a neighbour's house without Urith ? ' ' 

" Did Bessie say that ? " 

" Yes, she did." 

"Then I will go with you to the Cakes, Anthony." 

It was customary in former times for the gentlefolks of 
a neighbourhood to meet at each other's houses, at inter 
vals, for dances and carouses the young folks for dances, 
their elders for carouses. On such occasions the burden 
of entertainment did not fall wholly, or to any serious ex 
tent, on the host in whose house the assembly took place. 
Each guest brought with him or her a contribution to the 
feast ducks, geese, capons, eggs, cheese, bottles of wines, 
pasties, honey, fruit, candles, flowers very much as at a 
picnic nowadays, each party invitsd contributes something. 
The host actually furnished little more than the use of his 
house. Even the servants of the guests were expected to 
assist, and generally attended on their own masters and 
mistresses, behind whose chairs they stationed themselves. 

The Cakes occupied a quaint old barton, named Wring- 
worthy, in a central position for the neighbourhood ; and 
they had an excellent hall for a dance, well appreciated by 
the young gentlefolks of the neighbourhood. 

The evening for the dance arrived. Folk went early to a 
dance in those days, before the darkness had set in. Many 
were on the road ; none in coaches ; all on horseback the 
young ladies seated on pads behind their grooms. 

Clattering along at a good pace came Fox, riding along 
side of Elizabeth Cleverdon. He had gone to Hall to fetch 
her. She was annoyed : she did not understand the atten 
tion, in her simple mind. The idea never entered that he 
had designs on her hand. She did not wish to feel pre 
judiced against him ; at the same time she did not like 
him, and was unable to account to herself for this dislike. 

Her father made much of him. Fox was now constantly 
at Hall, and he made himself companionable to the old 
man. Bessie with pain contrasted his conduct with that 



202 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

of her brother, who had never put himself out of the way 
to be agreeable to his father had not courted his society 
and sought to be a companion to him. She was grateful to 
Fox for his efforts to relieve the old Squire of his desola 
tion by giving him so much of his society. 

Fox was her brother's friend, and she had no doubt that 
he was at Hall with the purpose of doing his utmost to 
further a reconciliation between Anthony and his father. 
For this she thanked him in her heart, yet she could not 
stifle the dislike that would spring up and assert itself not 
withstanding. Nor did she like the look that Fox cast at 
her occasionally. He meant no harm, doubtless ; he was 
but showing her that he was acting as her confederate in 
the cause which, as she trusted, both had at heart. Never 
theless, she wished he would not look at her with that cun 
ning, wounding twinkle in his eyes. 

Presently Fox and Bessie caught up Anthony riding with 
Urith on pillion behind him. Fox greeted them boister 
ously, and Bessie threw him and Urith a kiss. Anthony 
acknowledged Fox's greeting with warmth, but that of his 
sister with a little coldness. He was annoyed with her for 
her tameness in submitting to her father. There was no 
opportunity for more than a word, as Fox urged on his 
horse and that of Elizabeth Cleverdon, with his whip, to a 
pace with which Anthony was unable to keep up. The old 
Willsworthy mare was a clumsy piece of horseflesh, not 
comparable in any way with the beasts from Hall and Kil- 
worthy stables. Anthony was aware of this, and somewhat 
ashamed. 

On reaching the house of the Cakes, the sound of music 
was audible a couple of fiddles, a bass, and a elarionette ; 
but, in the noise of voices, salutations, and laughter, the 
melody was drowned ; only occasionally the deep grunt of 
the bass, and the shrill wail of the elarionette, like that of 
a teething babe, were audible. 

The hall was full. It was not large, as we nowadays 
reckon size ; but it was of sufficient size to accommodate a 
good many, and not so large as to make them feel chilled 
by the vastness of the space. From the hall opened a par 
lour, in which were set out card-tables for the elders. 

Directly Anthony and his wife entered, Bessie signed to 
Urith to sit by her. She was uneasy at the pointed way 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 203 

in which Fox paid her attention, kept near her, and talked 
with her. She could see that his conduct had attracted 
notice, and that she was the subject of a good deal of 
remark. She was sad at heart little inclined for merri 
ment ; but she had come as her father desired it ; and al 
ways conscientious, and desirous to sink her own feelings 
so as not to disturb and distress others, she concealed her 
inner sadness, assumed a gentle, pleased manner natural 
to her when in company. She had been wont from early 
childhood to shut up her troubles within her heart from 
every eye, and to wear a composed exterior ; consequently 
this was less difficult to her now than it might have been to 
others less self-disciplined. 

TJrith, moreover, was not best satisfied to find herself at 
a merrymaking so shortly after her mother's death ; and, 
besides, was so wholly unaccustomed to one, that she felt 
frightened and bewildered. She snatched at once at the 
chance of sitting by Bessie, as a relief to the painful sense 
of loneliness and confusion in which she was, confused by 
the crowd that whirled about her lonely in the midst of 
it, because strange to most of those composing it. Anthony 
was among friends. He knew every one, and was greeted 
heartily by all the young people, male and female ; but she 
was thrust aside by them as they pushed forward to wel 
come him, and she was jostled outside the throng which 
had compacted itself around him. 

At the most favourable time she would have felt strange 
there, for her mother had never taken her to any rout at a 
neighbour's house ; she had been to no dances, no dinners 
had been kept entirely aloof from all the whirl of bright and 
butterfly life that had made country life so enjoyable ; and 
now she was oppressed with the inner consciousness of the 
impropriety of appearing at a dance at such a brief inter 
val after the earth had closed over her mother. At once, 
with nervous self-consciousness, TJrith rushed into self-ex 
culpation. 

"I would not have come indeed, I did not wish to 
come ; but Anthony insisted. He said he would, not come 
without me ; you had told him that, and I did not wish to 
stand in the way of his pleasures. He has worked very 
hard ; he has been cut off from his usual associates ; he has 
had no holiday so I thought it well to come." 



204 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Yes, you did right. You will find Anthony exacting. 
That he always was, but good at heart," said Bessie. 

" I do not dance myself I cannot dance," said Urith, in 
further self-excuse ; " so that it will not seem so very 
strange my being here, if I simply look on." 

" You will have to dance to open the ball with Anthony, 
I suppose, as you are the bride." 

" I ! Oh, but I do not know how to dance. I never have 
danced. I do not understand the figures. I do not dis 
tinguish between a brawl, a rant, and a jig." 

" That is unfortunate but it will serve to excuse you ; 
yet I think you must essay to foot it once with Anthony. 
He is certain to insist on it." 

" But I do not know ' Urith flushed. " How can 

I dance when I have never practised the measures and the 
paces ? " 

At that moment Anthony came up. 

" Come, Urith," said he ; " we must open the ball All 
are waiting for you." 

"But I cannot, Anthony." 

He made a movement of impatience. "Nonsense, you 
must ! " That was in his old imperious manner, which 
Bessie knew so well. 

Bessie said aside to Urith, " Make the attempt. You 
cannot well go wrong." 

Urith stood up nervous, trembling, turning white and 
i*ed, and with the tears very near the surface. 

" Look here," said Anthony. " Father thinks, because I 
am thrust out of Hall, that everyone may kick at me that 
I am of no account any more. Let us show that it is other 
wise. Let them see that I am something still, and that 
my wife is not a nobody. Come ! " He whisked her to 
her place at the head of the room. 

Urith saw that all eyes were on her, and this increased 
her nervousness. As she passed Fox she caught his mali 
cious eye, and saw the twirl of laughter and cruel jest on 
his lip. 

"I cannot and let me alone, Anthony," escaped her 
again. She was frightened. 

" Have done. I do not want you here to make a fool of 
yourself and me ; and that you will do if you slink back to 
your place." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 205 

" But I cannot dance, Anthony." 

^ Folly ! I will put you to-rights. With half a pinch of 
wit you cannot go wrong." 

The music struck up, the clarionette squealed, the vio 
lins sawed, and the bass grunted. In a moment Urith 
was caught away felt herself swung, flying, she knew not 
where. She knew not what she was doing. She could 
neither keep step with the music, nor discover the direc 
tion in which she had to go. She saw faces faces on 
every side full of laughter, amusement, mockery. She 
was thrown adrift from Anthony, was groping for his hand ; 
could not tell where he was, what she had to do ; got in 
the way of other dancers, was knocked across the floor, 
knocked back again ; ran between couples then, all at 
once, she was aware of Anthony pushing his way to her, 
with an angry face, and an exclamation of, " You are no 
good at all ; get back to your chair. I won't dance with 
you again and be made a laughiug-stock of." 

He left her, where he had thrust her out of the dance, 
to find her way back to Bessie, and strode off to Julian, 
caught her by the hand, and in a moment was fully en 
gaged. 

He was maddened with vexation. It was unendurable 
to him that he had been the occasion of laughter. Every 
other girl and woman in the room, however plain, could 
dance only his wife not. She alone must sit against the 
wall ! That it was his fault in forcing her to come against 
her wishes his fault in making her attempt to do what 
she had protested her ignorance of he did not recognise. 
The wife of Anthony Cleverdon ought to take a prominent 
place ought to be able to dance, and dance well ought 
to be handsomer, better dressed, more able to make her 
self agreeable, than any other woman ! And there she was 
helpless ! Handsome, indeed ; but with her beauty dis 
guised by an unbecoming dress ; silent, sulky, on the verge 
of tears. It was enough to make his heart fill with gall ! 

On the other hand, here was Julian Crymes in charming 
costume, bright of eye, fresh of colour, full of wit and ban 
ter, moving easily in the dance/light, confident, graceful. 
Julian was glowing with pleasure ; her dark eyes flashed 
with the fire that burned in her soul, and the hot blood 
rolled boiling through her veins. 



206 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

For some moments after she had taken her seat Uritli 
was unable to see anything. The tears of shame and dis 
appointment filled her eyes, and she was afraid of being 
observed to wipe them away. 

But Bessie took her hand, and pressed it, and said, " No 
wonder you were agitated at this first appearance in com 
pany. No one will think anything of it, no doubt they will 
sny you are a young and modest bride. There, do not be 
discouraged ; the same would have happened to me in 
your circumstances. What must I ? " 

The last words were addressed to Fox, who came up to 
ask her to dance with him. She would gladly have ex 
cused herself, but that she thought a dance was owing to 
him for his courtesy in coming to Hall to accompany her. 

" I am not inclined for more than one or two turns this 
evening," she said to Fox ; " for there are many here 
younger than I, and I would not take from them the dances 
they enjoy so much more than myself." 

As the tears dried without falling in TJrith's eyes, and 
her heart beat less tumultuously, she was able to look 
about her, and seek and find Anthony. 

It was with a stab of pain in her heart that she saw him 
with Julian. They were talking together with animation, 
her great eyes were fixed on him, and he bent his head 
over her. Urith knew the heart of Julian knew the dis 
appointed love, the rage that consumed it ; and she won 
dered at her husband for singling this girl out as his 
partner. Then she reproached herself ; for, she argued, 
that this heart, with its boiling sea of passion, had been re 
vealed to her, not to him. He was unconscious of it 

Urith followed him and Julian everywhere ; noted the 
changes in his countenance when she spoke ; felt a twinge 
of anguish when, for a moment, both their eyes met hers, 
and they said something to each other and laughed. Had 
they laughed at her awkwardness in the opening dance ? 

Elizabeth passed before her on Fox's arm, and, as they 
did so, she heard Fox say, " Yes, your brother is content 
now that he is with Julian. You can't root old love out 
with a word." 

Bessie winced, turned sharply round, and looked at 
Urith, in the hope that this ill-cousiilered speech had not 
been heard by her. But a glance showed that Urith had 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 207 

not been deaf : her colour had faded to an ashen white, 
and a dead film had formed over her sombre eyes, like cat- 
ice on a "pool. 

Bessie drew her partner away, and said, with agitated 
voice, " You should not have spoken thus within earshot 
of Urith." 

"Why not? Sooner or later she must know it the 
sooner the better." 

Bessie loosened herself from him, angry and hurt. " I 
will dance with you no more," she said. " You have a 
strange way of speaking words that are like burrs they 
stick and annoy, and are hard to tear away." 

She went back to take her place by Urith, but found it 
occupied. She was therefore unable at once to use her 
best efforts to neutralise the effect produced by what Fox 
had said. 

Urith's face had become grave and colourless, the dark 
brows were drawn together, and the gloomy eyes had re 
covered some life or light ; but it was that of a Jack-o'- 
Lantern a wild fire playing over them. 

Anthony danced repeatedly with Julian. The delight of 
being with him again, of having him as her partner wholly 
to herself if only for a few minutes, filled her with intoxi 
cation of pleasure, and disregard of who saw her, and what 
was said concerning her. Her heart was like a flaming 
tuft of gorse, blazing fiercely, brightly, with intense heat 
for a brief space, to leave immediately after a blank spot of 
black ash and a few glowing sparks ; and Anthony stooped 
over her enveloped in this flame, accepting the fluttering 
homage, forgetful of his responsibilities, regardless of the 
future, without a thought as to the consequences. Her 
bosom heaved, her breath came hot and fast, her full lips 
trembled. 

Urith's eyes were never off them, and ever darker grew 
her brow, more sinister the light in her eyes, and the more 
colourless her cheek. 

Suddenly she sprang up. The room was swimming 
around her ; she needed air, and she ran forth into the 
night. The sky was full of twilight, and there was a ris 
ing moon. Though it was night, it was not dark. 

She stood in the road, gasping for air, holding the gate. 
Then she saw coming along the road a dark object, and 



208 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

heard the measured tramp of horses' hoofs. It was a car 
riage. Along that road, at midnight, so it was said, trav 
elled nightly a death-coach, in which sat a wan lady, drawn 
by headless horses, with on the box a headless driver. 

For a moment Urith was alarmed, but only for a mo 
ment The spectral coach travelled noiselessly ; of this 
that approached the sound of the horse-hoofs, of the 
wheels, and the crack of the whip of the driver were audi 
ble. 

The carriage drew up before the entrance-gates of the 
house, and a gentleman thrust forth his head. 

" Ho ! there ! Do you belong to the house ? Run in, 
summon Anthony Crymes. Tell him his father wants him 
immediately. " 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

CAUTIONS. 

Urith entered the hall again, and told Fox that his father 
was without, and wanted him. 

" My father ! " exclaimed young Crymes. " Oh ! he is 
home from the Session of Parliament, where they and 
the King have been engaged in offering each other humble 
pie, for which neither party has a taste. What does he 
want with me ? " 

"I did not inquire," answered Urith, haughtily. 

Mr. Crymes had not known her in the road, when he 
called out to her to send his son to him. 

Fox was annoyed to have to leave the dance, but he could 
not disobey his father, so he took his hat and coat, and 
went forth. 

Mr. Crymes was waiting for him, in the coach. 

" I heard you were here, on my way. Stirring times, 
my boy, when we must be up and doing." 

"So am I, father ; you took me off from a saraband." 

" Fie on it ! I don't mean dancing. Come into the coach, 
and sit with me. I have much to say." 

"Am I to desert my partners? " 

" In faith ! I reckon the maids will be content to find 
another better favoured than thee, Tonie." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 209 

Fox reluctantly entered the carriage, but not till lie had 
made another effort to be excused. 

"Julian is here, is she to be left without an escort?" 

"Julian has her attendants, and will be rejoiced to be 
free from your company, as when together ye mostly 
spar." 

When the coach was iu movement, Mr. Crymes said, "I 
have come back into the country, for, indeed, it is time 
that they who love the Constitution of their country and 
their religion should be preparing for that struggle which 
is imminent." 

"I thought, father," said Fox, "you were sent up 
to "Westminster to fight the battle there. It is news 
to me that warfare is to be carried on by Cut and 
Kun. I suppose you were in risk of being sent to the 
Tower?" 

The old man was offended. 

"It will oblige me if you reserve your sarcasms for others 
than your own father. I come home, and you sneer at 
me." 

" Not at all ; you mistake. I wondered how the Con 
stitution was to be preserved here, when the great place 
of doctoring and drenching the patient, of bleeding and 
cupping, is at Westminster, and you were sent thither to 
tender your advice as to how that same Constitution was to 
be dealt with." 

"The battle is not to be fought there," said Mr. 
Crymes, "nor with tongues. The field of conflict will 
be elsewhere, and the weapons keener and harder than 
words." 

"The field of conflict is, I trust, not to be here," re 
marked Fox ; " your sagacity, father, has assuredly taken 
you to the furthest possible distance from it. As soon 
as these weapons stronger than tongues are brandished, I 
shall betake me to Lundy or the Scilly Isles." 

" You are a coward, I believe," said Mr. Crymes, iu a 
tone of annoyance. " I expect to find in you or, rather, 
but for my experience of you, I might have reckoned on 
finding in my son a nobler temper than that of a run 
away." 

" But, my good father, what other are you ? " 

"If you will know," said Mr. Crymes, petulantly, "I 

14 



210 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

have come into the country here into the West to rouse 
it." 

"What for?" 

"For the cause of the Constitution and Religion." 

" And when the West is roused, what is it to do ? Stretch 
itself, and lie dowu to sleep again ? " 

" Nothing of the kind, Touie. I do not iniud confiding 
to you that we expect a revolution. It is not possible to 
endure what is threatened. The country will it must 
rise, or will lose its right to be considered a free and Prot 
estant country." Mr. Crymes waited, but, us his sou said 
nothing, he continued. "The Duke of Monmouth is in 
the Low Countries, and is meditating an invasion. The 
Dutch will assist ; he is coming with a fleet, and several 
companies levied in Holland, and we must be organised 
ami ready with our bands to rise as soon as he sets foot in 
England." 

"Not I," said Fox. "If you, father, venture your neck 
and bowels for Moninouth and the Protestant cause, I con 
tent myself with tossing up my cap for King James. Mou- 
mouth's name is James as well as his Majesty's, so my 
c ip will not compromise me with either ; and, father, I only 
toss up my cap I will not risk my neck or bowels for 
either by drawing sword." 

"You are a selfish, unprincipled rogue," said Mr. 
Crymes. " You have neither regard for your country nor 
ambition for yourself." 

" As for my country, I can best care for it by protecting 
such a worthy member of it as myself, and my ambition 
lies in other lines than political disturbance. I have not 
heard that either side got much, but rather lost, by taking 
parts in the Great Rebellion, whether for the Parliament 
or for the King. The only folk who gained were such as 
put their hands in their pockets and looked on." 

" By the Lord!" exclaimed the old gentleman, "lam 
sorry that I have such a son, without enthusiasm, and care 
for aught save himself. I tell you the Earl of Bedford 
secretly inclines to the cause of Moumouth, and has urged 
me to come down here and stir the people up. Now, when 
his Lordship " 

"Exactly," scoffed Fox. " Exactly as I thought, he keeps 
safe and throws all the risk on you. Nothing could so in- 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 211 

duce me to caution as the example of the Earl of Bed 
ford." 

In the meantime, Bessie, at the dance, was in some 
uneasiness. She had missed Urith when she went out of 
the house, and, after her return, noticed that her face was 
clouded, and that she was short of speech. Bessie took 
Urith's hand in her lap and caressed it. She did not fully 
understand what was distressing her sister-in-law. At first 
she supposed it was annoyance at her failure in dancing, 
but soon perceived that the cause was other. Urith no 
longer responded to her caresses, and Bessie, looking anx 
iously into her dark face and following the direction of her 
eyes, discovered that the conduct of Anthony was the occa 
sion of "Urith's displeasure. Anthony was not engaged to 
Julian for every dance, but he singled her out and got her 
as his partner whenever he could, and it was apparent that 
she took no pleasure in dancing with anyone else ; she 
either feigned weariness to excuse her acceptance of another 
partner, or danced with him without zest, and with an 
abstracted mind that left her speechless. 

Bessie Cleverdon, the last person in the room to think 
hardly of another, the most ready to excuse the conduct 
of another, was hard put to it to justify her brother's 
conduct. He did not come to his wife between the dances, 
treating her with indifference equal to a slight, and he lav 
ished his attentions on Julian Crymes in a manner that pro 
voked comment. 

" They are old friends, have known each other since they 
were children, have been like cousins, almost as brother 
and sister," said Bessie, when she felt Urith's hand clench 
and harden within her own as Anthony and Julian passed 
them by without notice, engrossed in each other. 

" You must think nothing of it indeed you must not. 
Anthony is pleased to meet an old acquaintance and talk 
over old times. It is nothing other," again she protested, 
as Urith started and quivered. The bride had encountered 
Julian's eye, and Julian had flashed at her a look of scorn 
and gratified revenge. She was fulfilling her threat, she 
was plucking the rose out of Urith's bosom. 

Presently, Julian came across the room to Bessie with 
eyes averted from Urith. 

" Come with me," said she to Bessie Cleverdon, "I want 



212 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

a word with you. I am hot with dancing. Come outside 
the porch." She put her arm within that of Anthony's sis 
ter, and drew her forth on the chive, outside. 

When there, Julian said, " Bessie, what is this I hear on 
all sides. Are you engaged? " 

" Engaged ! What do you mean ? " 

" Engaged to Fox. I am told of it by first one and then 
another ; moreover, his attentions to you were marked, and 
all noticed them ; that has given strength to the general be 
lief." 

" It is not true. It is not true !" exclaimed Bessie, be 
coming crimson with shame and annoyance ; " who can 
have set such a wicked story afloat ? " 

" Nay, I cannot tell that. Who can trace a piece of gos 
sip ? But the talk is about, in the air, everywhere. There 
must be some foundation for it." 

" None at all, I assure thee most seriously, and most 
honestly, none at all. You pain me inexpressibly, Julian. 
Deny it whenever you hear it. Contradict it, as you love 
me." 

" I do love thee," answered Julian, " and for that reason 
I have hoped it was false, for I pity the maid that listens 
to Fox's tongue and believes his words. If it be 
true " 

"It is not true ; it has not a barleycorn of truth in it" 

"But he has been much at Hall, every week, almost 
every other day." 

" Because he is Anthony's friend, and he is doing what 
he can for him with my father." 

Julian laughed. " Nay, never, never reckon on that 
Fox will do no good turn to anyone, leastwise to Anthony. 
He go twice or thrice a week to Hall on other concern 
than his own ! As well might the hills dance. Trust me, 
if he has been to Hall so oft, it has been that he sought 
ends and advantages of his own. I never knew Fox hold 
out the end of his riding- whip to help a friend." 

" That may be," said Bessie Cleverdon. " But he has not 
come for me. I pray let my name be set aside. I have 
nothing to do with him. He has not so much as breathed 
a word touching such a matter to me. I pray you deny 
this whenever you hear it, and to whomsoever you speak 
concerning it." 



URITH: A TALE OF DAETMOOR. 213 

Julian laughed. 

" I am glad I have thy word that there is naught in it, 
as far as thou art concerned. I spoke of it to Anthony, 
and he also laughed me out of countenance thereat. But 
he trusts Fox. I would not trust him save to trip up or 
stab in the back, an enemy. Do'st know, Bess, what no 
tion came on me? I fancied that Fox was seeking thee, be 
cause he reckoned that the strife between Anthony and his 
father would never skin over, and that the old man would 
make thee his heir." 

" No ! no ! " exclaimed Elizabeth, in distress. " Do not 
say such things, do not think such things. I am certain 
that you mistake Fox. He is not so bad as you paint 
him." 

" What ! you take up the single-stick to fight in his de 
fence?" 

" I will fight in defence of any man who is maligned. 
I cannot think of Fox what you say. I pray say no more 
hereon. You pain me past words to express, and there 
really is no ground for Avhat you do say." 

" Take care ! take care ! Bess. I know Fox better than 
do you, better than does anyone else, and he may yet play 
you such a move as will checkmate you." 

Elizabeth did not answer. The two girls took a turn on 
the lawn together, and Bessie drew Julian's arm tighter 
to her side ; she even laid her disengaged hand on her 
shoulder, clinging to her as a supplicant. 

The attitude, her manner was so full of entreaty, that 
Julian halted in her walk, turned to her, and asked, " What 
is it that you want, Bess ? " 

" My dear dear Julian," Elizabeth stroked Julian's arm 
with her gentle hand, " O Julian ! Do, I pray thee, not 
dance any more with Anthony." 

"Why not, Bess?" 

Elizabeth hesitated. She was unwilling, almost unable 
to express her reasons. An unrest was in her bosom, a 
fear in her heart, but nothing had taken distinct shape. 

" My dear, dear Julian, I enti-eat you not. You should 
feel that it were fit that my brother should dance this 
evening with his wife with Urith." 

" She can no more dance than a goose," answered Julian, 
bluntly. 



214 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" That is true I mean she cannot dance very well ; but 
it is not seemly that she be left out altogether, and that he 
should be so much with you." 

"Why not? We fire old friends." 

"Do you not feel, Julian, that it is unfitting? She I 
mean Urith must feel hurt." 

" She is hurt ! '* repeated Julian, with a thrill of triumph 
in her voice ; but this Bessie did not notice. It never for 
a moment occurred to her that it could give exultation to 
Julian to know that she had pained another. 

" Indeed, you must consider," pursued Bessie. " The 
poor young thing has not had the chance of learning to 
dance, and Anthony is without much thought ; he seeks 
his pleasure. Young men do not think, or do not under 
stand the hearts of girls. I watched Urith, and I believe 
that every step you took trod on her heart." 

"It did ! " Her tone shocked Bessie, who for a moment 
released her arm and looked in her face, but in the dark 
ness could not see the expression. 

"Indeed it' did," she continued ; " for, as she could not 
dance, it seemed a slight to and forgetfulness of her 
that she was left to sit out, and Anthony amused himself 
with you and with others. He meant no harm, I know that 
very well ; but, nevertheless, he hurt her much, and she 
bled with inward pain. She was shamed, and should not 
have been shamed before a great many people on her first 
appearance after her marriage, at a rout." 

"You should administer your exhortations, Bess, to 
Anthony. I have not the custody and responsibility of that 
wild, vixenish colt, Urith." 

" I cannot get a word with Anthony, and you, Juli;m, are 
dancing with him three times to any other partner's one." 

" Would you have him sit down at her side and twiddle 
his thumbs, like a disgraced child in a corner?" 

"I would have him and you think of the feelings of a 
young girl who is sad at heart," said Bessie, gravely. 
Julian's tone distressed her ; a glimmer of the true condi 
tion of affairs entered her mind and filled it with horror 
and indignation. 

"Julian," she said, in a firmer tone, with less of appeal 
in it and more of command, " at one time I used to think 
that we were like to become sisters " 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 215 

" What, by your taking Fox? It is not too late." 

" Do not do not banter on that subject. You know my 
meaning. I did suppose that Anthony would have sought 
his happiness in you. But it has pleased God to order it 
otherwise. Now he must find his happiness not at Kil- 
worthy, nor at Hall, but at poor little Willsworthy, that 
bleak moor farm, and not with you, but with Urith. He 
has sacrificed a great deal for her losf his home, lost his 
father, almost lost me, has given up wealth and position, 
and he must be compensated for these losses in his own 
new home. It is not right that you that anyone should 
do anything to spoil this chance, to rob him of his com 
pensation in full. Anthony can be nothing to you for the 
future. Leave him alone. Do not play with him, do not 
draw him away from Urith. He has now already mighty 
odds against him ; do not, for God's sake, do anything that 
may make the odds overwhelming, and blight and ruin his 
happiness here and for ever. For, Julian, it is now, in the 
first months of marriage, that his state will be determined 
one way or the other. Mar the concord between him and 
his wife now, and it may never again be found ; and that 
concord lost, with it to wreck goes the whole life of my 
brother. If ever, Julian, you had any love for Anthony, 
if now you have any kindly feeling towards him, let him 
alone." 

She paused and waited for an answer. None came, 
Julian walked faster, dragged her up and down the lawn 
as she clung to her. 

"It was Anthony's doing that Urith came to-night ; she 
was averse to appear, but he insisted on it. She told him 
she could not dance ; he forced her to take her place with 
him at the head of the room for a measure. Did she ever 
seek him out ? Never. He thrust himself upon her. When 
her mother died, she had no desire to be hurried into mar 
riage, but he overruled all her objections. He, ever 
thoughtless, inconsiderate of others, has taken her up out 
of her old course of life " 

" Enough, enough about her," said Julian, "when you 
speak of her my auger foams. Speak of him, of his happi 
ness jeopardised, and I cool. What ! Has it come to this, 
that I I in my gloveless hands hold the fortunes, hold the 
hearts of these two, to beat and batter them together, and 



216 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

crush and break them both? What if I threaten to 
doit?" 

" You are too good at heart to make the threat, or, if 
made, to make it good." 

Julian was silent again. She took several turns in front 
of the house. The sounds of revelry streamed out to them. 
Through the open porch door, along with the light, and 
occasionally in the porch itself, came a flash of colour as 
a girl stood there in her bright-tinted dress with the blaze 
of the candles upon her. Bats were wheeling, and their 
shrill scream pierced the ear. 

" Let me alone, Bess," said Julian. " I cannot breathe, 
I cannot think when you are by me ; my head is like a 
weir, and all my thoughts tumble, boiling, spattering over, 
beaten to foam." 

Elizabeth withdrew to the porch, where she seated her 
self, and watched the excited girl on the lawn. She had 
put her hands to her head and was still pacing up and 
down, now fast, then slowly, according as her passion or 
her good nature prevailed. 

Then out at the door came Anthony, shouting, " Where 
is Julian ? She promised to dance the Mallard with me ! 
Bessie, have you seen her ? I claim her for the Mal 
lard." 

Julian heard his voice, and stepped back under the shade 
of a bank of yews. There was before her gravel, and in 
that gravel a piece of white spar that shone like a flake of 
snow in the dark. If she stepped out to that piece of spar 
he would see her, claim her, and her evil nature would 
have got the upper hand. Whither would it lead her ? 
She did not ask that. She saw before her now only the 
alternative of a half-hour's mad pleasure on the arm of An 
thony, of cruel triumph over his already humiliated wife, 
and abandonment of the contest. 

The struggle was over with unexpected brevity. The tune 
of the Mallard struck up, and Anthony went back into the 
hall without her, to seek for her there, or to find there an 
other partner. 

Then Julian heard the burst of voices in song, for the 
Mallard was a country dance led by two, with chorus by 
all the performers as they turned their partners, and went 
in chain with linked, reversed arms, down the room. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 217 

SHE : When lambkins skip, and apples are growing, 

Grass is green, and roses ablow, 
When pigeons coo, and cattle are lowing, 
Mist lies white in the vale as snow. 

CHORUS : Why should we be all the day toiling ? 

Lads and lasses along with me ! 
Done with drudgery, dust, and moiling, 
Come along to the greenwood tree. 

HE : The cows are milked, the teams are a-stable, 

Work is over with set of sun. 
Ye farmer lads, all lusty and able, 
Ere the moon rises begins our fun. 

CHORUS : Why should we, etc. 



Julian came to the porch to Elizabeth. 

" Go," said she, " tell my servants to make ready. I 
will return home. I will not go indoors again, till the 
horses are at the door. My father has returned, and Fox 
is with him. Be that my excuse." 

Bessie put up both her hands to the face of Julian, drew 
clown her head to her, and kissed her. Then she disap 
peared. 

Julian remained without, listening to the ballet. 



SHE : O sweet it is to foot on the clover, 
Ended work, and revel begun, 
Aloft the planets never give over, 
Dancing, circling round of the sun. 

CHORUS : Why should we, etc. 

HE : So Ralph and Phil, and Robin and Willie, 

Kiss your partners, each of you now ; 
Bet and Prue, and Dolly and Celie, 

Make your curtsey ; lads ! make a bow. 

CHORUS : Why should we be all the day toiling ? 

Lads and lasses along with me ! 
Done with drudgery, dust, and moiling, 
Come along to the greenwood tree. 



218 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

* 

CHAPTER XXX. 

THE HIDE HOME. 

When Julian Crymes had departed, it appeared to An 
thony that the dance had lost its principal charm, and he 
wearied of it. 

" Come, Urith," said he ; "I think we will go. It is late." 
This was almost the only time he had spoken to her since 
the opening dance. 

"I am ready," she answered; "have been for two 
hours." 

He went forth to see after the horse, and had it brought 
round to the door. He took his place in the saddle, and 
Urith sat behind him. They rode forth from the grounds 
into the high road, along which their course lay for a mile 
and a half, after which it diverged over moor. Anthony 
did not speak, and Urith remained equally silent. She had 
her hand on his belt, and he felt the pressure. He was 
vexed with her ; she had not done him credit that evening. 
She was uncouth, and unfit to associate with people accus 
tomed to social intercourse unable to take a part in the 
amusements such as is expected of every young person. 
She was decently dressed, but without richness and refine 
ment of taste, and in an old-fashioned gown that had been 
her mother'a The blood rushed into his head as he 
thought of how folks must have laughed at him and her 
when she failed in the opening dance. She was the bride 
of the evening ; every one was prepared to concede to her 
the place of pre-eminence, but she had shown herself 
wholly incapable of occupying the place offei-ed her. Then 
how uninteresting she had appeared beside the other girls 
present ! Their faces had been radiant with mirth, hers 
dull with discontent and ill-humour. 

What if he had appeared there with Julian as his bride ? 
How different all would have been ! She would have been 
wejl, handsomely dressed, and in all the inherited jewelry 
of the Glanvilles. She would not have sat a whole even 
ing mum against the wall. She would have shown herself 
queen of the revel. A warm breath, sweet as if laden with 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR, 219 

gorse essence, fanned his face at the thought, and was fol 
lowed at once by a sharp and icy blast. Julian had been 
refused by him with all her wealth, her rank, her accom 
plishments, her beauty, and what had he acquired instead ? 

How could he have supposed that Urith was devoid of 
all those feminine delicacies of manner which enable a 
woman to place herself at ease in all society ? She had 
thrown a cold, wet blanket over his joy on this first com 
ing forth into the world from his seclusion at Willsworthy. 
Then Anthony went on spinning at the same dark thread 
of ideas. He asked himself what there was in Urith that 
had attracted him, why it was that he had been so infatu 
ated as to throw his luck to the winds so as to possess her. 
When the head begins to reckon, then the heart is on the 
way to bankruptcy. 

He counted over the advantages he had rejected, meas 
ured the sacrifices he had made for Urith's love, and he 
asked what she could throw into the scale to outweigh all 
this? 

His hand twitched the bridle, and made the horse toss 
his head and plunge. 

Urith also was occupied with her own thoughts. It had 
been a relief to her to get away from the laughter and 
music and revelry of Wriugworthy ; she thought that, 
could she be away from the heated room and swaling can 
dles, in the cool night air, under the stars, her tranquillity 
of mind would return. But it was not so. Anthony's 
silence, her sense of having offended him by her clumsi 
ness, her dread lest his love for her should be cooling ; 
above all, the haunting spectre of a fear lest Julian should 
be fulfilling her threat, and be weaning from her the heart 
of her husband, followed her, and filled her blood with 
fever. But she strove against this fear, fought it with all 
the weapons at her command. It was impossible that his 
love, so strong, so unselfish, which had cost him so much, 
should evaporate, and that his heart should sway about 
like a weathercock. The resolution wherewith he had 
pursued bis end, that proved him to have a strong charac 
ter, and not one that is turned about in every direction. 

He had some excuse for being out of humour. He was 
proud of her. He had desired to let all see what a woman 
he had got as his wife. He was disappointed, and the 



220 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

depth of his disappointment was the measure of his pride 
in her. 

But then there rose up before her mind the picture of 
Julian on Anthony's arm, with burning cheeks and bright 
eyes, looking up in his face, and his eyes resting upon her 
with a warmth that should be in them only when fixed on 
the face of his wife. Did she not know that glow in his 
countenance ? That fire in his eye ? Had he not looked 
at her in the same way before they were married ? 

" Do you intend to drag me off my horse? " asked An 
thony, " that you pull at my belt so roughly ? " 

"And you, that you draw the rein so short and make 
the mare rear ? " 

Urith knew nothing of the world. It had ever seemed 
to her inconceivable that after the bond and seal of mar 
riage the thought of either should stray ; that any one 
should dare to dream of loving a man who was pledged in 
heart and mind and soul to another woman. Yet Julian 
as much as told her she still loved Anthony, would use all 
her fascinations to draw him to her and away from his 
wife. Was Anthony so weak that his conscience would 
suffer him to be thus attracted from the place of duty ? 
No a thousand times, no. He was not so feeble, so lack 
ing in moral strength as this. 

They had turned off the high road upon the moor. 
Here was no stoned road, no road that lay white in the 
darkness before them, but turf, by daylight recognisable 
as a road by hoof marks, and the fret of feet over the turf. 
By night it could be followed only by observing stones set 
up at intervals and capped with whitewash. Stones had 
been picked off the roadway and thrown on one side, so 
th'at the turf was smooth almost as a racecourse. The head 
of the horse was turned now somewhat easterly. The 
sky above the rugged moor range was silvery, and from 
behind a rocky crest rose the moon, doubled in size by the 
haze that hung over the moor, and seemed like a mighty ' 
flame of the purest white light. 

"There, there ! " said Urith. " Do you see, Anthony ; 
the moon is up above that old Lyke Way, along which we 
made our first journey together." 

She disengaged her hand from his belt, and put it round 
his waist 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 221 

He raised his head and looked away to the east, at the 
ridge of moor and rock, black against the glittering orb. 
He remembered then how he had mounted her on his 
horse how he had stood by her and looked into her eyes ! 
He recalled the strange magic that had then come over 
him a longing for her, mingled with a presentiment of 
evil a fear lest she were drawing him on to destruction. 
That fear was verified she had lured him on to his ruin. 
He was a ruined man ; he had lost all that he valued the 
esteem of his fellows, the comforts and luxuries of life. 
Then began again the odious and monotonous enumeration 
of the sacrifices he had made. 

Why did Urith remind him of that ride ? Did she want 
to find occasion to reproach him? Was it not enough 
that he was scourging himself with the whips of his own 
thoughts for his precipitate folly in marrying her ? 

But Urith was not at that moment thinking of reproach. 
She breathed moor air, was beyond hedges and enclosures, 
in the open, vast, uncultivated heather-land, and there her 
brain had cooled, and her heart had recovered composure. 
The atmosphere was other than that of a ball-room, which 
had filled her with intoxication, and had bred phantoms 
that had affrighted her. 

As he rode on, with the light of the rising moon on his 
face, Anthony felt the pressure of Urith's hand below his 
heart. The pressure was slight, and yet it weighed heavy 
on him, and interfered with his breathing ; that light hand, 
as it rose and fell with the motion of the horse, and at 
each inhalation, seemed to strike reproachfully against his 
side, to knock, and bid him open to better thoughts. 

How was it that he was so changed that he, who had 
forced himself on the reluctant Urith, had not let her alone 
till she had yielded to his persistency to precipitate the 
marriage that he should be trying to shift the blame on 
her ? If he had made sacrifices to win her, she had not 
invited him to do so ; he had done it with his eyes open 
he had done it moved by no other influence, urged by his 
own caprice solely. 

It had never occurred to him that Urith had made sacri 
fices on her part ; that he had demanded them of her, and 
given her no rest till they were made. He had made her 
marry him against her conscience and wishes, too quickly 



222 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

after her mother's death, and against her mother's dying 
orders. But he considered that what was done could not 
be undone, that as he had made his bed, so must he lie, as 
he had laden himself, so he must trudge. What then was 
the use of repining, and fretting over the past ? 

" Yet it was the Lyke Way," he said, in a low tone, 
" the way of death, on which we set our feet together." 

'No," she said, "not altogether." She released her 
hand from his heart, and placed it on the arm that held the 
bridle. " Stay the mare a moment, Tonie." 

" Why ? " 

"I have something to tell you." 

" Can you not say it as we ride on it is late ? " 

"No stay the mare." 

He drew rein. 

" Well what is it ? " he asked, a little impatiently. 

She looked round. 

" We are quite alone ? " 

" Yes of course who else could be here ? " 

Then she put her hand on his shoulder. " Turn your 
ear to me, Tonie. I will not say it aloud." 

He did as required. But she did not speak for a few 
moments. 

He showed signs of impatience. 

Then she gathered resolution, and whispered something 
into his ear ; only a word or two, but he started, and turned 
in his saddle. 

" What ! Urith is it true ? " 

"J must not ride with you more after to-night," she said, 
and her eyes fell. 

Then he put his nrm round her, and drew her to him, 
and kissed her. on one cheek, then on the other, then on her 
mouth, and laughed aloud. 

" Hold tight ! " he said. " Put both arms round me, 
both hands on my heart ! O Urith ! Urith ! What will 
my father say when he knows this ? He will relent. He 
must." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 223 

CHAPTEK XXXL 

FAMILY JABS. 

"What is the meaning of the strange talk that is about 
concerning thee and Elizabeth Cleverdon ? " asked Julian 
of her brother, at breakfast next morning. 

"Nay, that is putting on me more than lean do. I 
should be sorry to account for all the idle talk that blows 
and drifts about on the stream of conversation, like leaves 
of autumn on a trout pool." 

"I heard it yesterday, and you certainly showed her 
great attention so long as you were at the dance." 

"Did I show her more attention than you showed 
to one I do not name? Faith ! if I had listened to and 
picked up the scraps of scandal cast about, I might have 
filled an apron with what wanton words I heard concern 
ing thee." 

He looked hard at Julian, and their eyes met. She 
coloured, but shook off her embarrassment, and turned to 
her father and said : " The saying is that my brother is set 
ting his cap to catch Bessie Cleverdon." 

Mr. Cryrnes became grave, and looked at his son. He 
was a stern and Puritanical man, who had kept himself 
aloof from his children, never entering into their amuse 
ments, and concerning himself with what they did. Julian's 
fortune was assured to her, and his son would inherit some 
thing, the relics of the paternal estate, and what he had 
saved when managing for Julian. 

" Is there anything in this, Anthony ? " he asked. " On 
my honour, I am surprised." 

" There is truth and there is falsehood in it," answered 
Fox, carelessly. " It has come to this, that as Julian cannot 
be Anthony Cleverdon's wife, it lies open to her to become 
his mother. Old Master Cleverdon is nothing loth, and, if 
she will accept him, she will have the opportunity of bring 
ing the father to good terms with the son, for, from what I 
have seen, the happiness of Tonie lies very near to my 
sister's heart. If she declines the old man, I shall try my 
fortune with his daughter." 



224 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" This is absurd, Fox," said Julian, highly incensed. 

"Absurd it may be but the old gentleman has his head 
full of it, and has commissioned me to sound his way with 
you." 

" Be silent," said Julian, very red, very angry, " I do not 
believe one word of this ; but that you are aiming at Bes 
sie, that I do believe, though when I asked her about it, she 
had no knowledge of anything of the kind." 

"Before we proceed to consider my affairs, let us settle 
yours," said Fox. " Am I to tell Squire Cleverdon of Hall 
that you will not favour his suit, being already too deep* 
gone in attachment to the son ? " 

" Silence to that slanderous tongue ! " said Mr. Crymes, 
wrathfully. " Julian at one time was thought of in refer 
ence to young Tony Cleverdon, but he did not fancy her, 
but took Urith Mai vine. From that moment the name of 
Tony Cleverdon, in connection with my daughter and your 
sister, is not to be employed in jest or earnest, by you or 
any other. Understand that." 

" Then," said Fox, with his eye on his father, out of the 
corner, " let her keep herself out of folks' mouths, and not 
be like a rat I saw 'tother day, that ran into the jaws of my 
terrier, mistaking his open mouth for a run." 

"What is he aiming at?" inquired Mr. Crymes, turning 
to his daughter. "I know he has a wicked tongue, but I 
cannot think he can speak without some occasion." 

"There is nothing that is to say "Julian became 

confused. " Why may I not speak to why not dance with 
an old, old friend?" 

" I have no command to lay on you not to speak to, not 
to dance with an old friend," said her father, " but every 
thing in moderation ; take notice from your brother that 
evil eyes look out for occasion, therefore give none. If Ahab 
had no weak places in his armour, the bow drawn at a ven 
ture would not have sent an arrow to him with death at the 
point. No bluebottles are bred where carrion is not found." 

Julian looked down abashed, then, with woman's craft, 
shifted the subject. 

"It is nonsense that Tony speaks. I do not believe for an 
instant that Master Cleverdon has any suit for me in his 
head if he has, no marvel if folk talk, but God be wi' me, 
it will not be I who occasion it" 






URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 225 

" What do you mean by this ? " asked the father, now 
turning to his son. "Has my friend Cleverdon said aught 
to justify you ? " 

" My dear father, if -you wish it, and Julian does not ob 
ject, lie will step from the position of good friend into son. 
He has cast an eye on Kilworthy, and as Kilworthy cannot 
be had without Julian, i' faith, he will take, both." 

" Let him dare to offer this to me ! " exclaimed Julian, 
" and until he does, pass it over. I refuse to accept any 
message through such a go-between." 

"It is no fault of mine," said Fox, " if the father thinks 
that some of the overspill of love and languishment for his 
son may rebound to him. I do not see how Jule, if she de 
sire to chastise her faithless lover for having despised her 
charms, can do so more effectually and more cuttingly than 
by taking his father. Then Tony Cleverdon is in her 
hands absolutely. She can reconcile her father to him or 
tear them apart for ever. She can bring him, if she will, 
to bite the dust at her feet, to fawn at her knee, and to a 
woman such power is precious." 

"That suffices," said Mr. Crymes ; "you heard what was 
her answer. She will speak no more on this matter with 
you. If Cleverdon comes to me with the suit, I will know 
what reply to make ; if he goes to Julian, she can answer 
him herself. Meanwhile do you keep silence thereon. I 
but half trust what thou sayst. Such fancies breed in thy 
perverse mind. Come now to the. other matter. Is it true 
that you see Elizabeth Cleverdon ? For her sake I trust 
not, for I esteem her exceeding well, as much as I reckon 
thee below the general level of good men. If I thought 
there was aught mendable in thee that could be shaped by 
the hands of a good wife, I would say God prosper thee. 
But I fear me thou art over-rotten at the heart to be 
ripened to any good, over-hard to be moulded to a vessel of 
honour." 

" I do not see why you should think so ill of me, father," 
said Fox, sullenly ; " unless it be that your ear has drunk 
in all the complaints Julian has poured out against me. 
What she says you accept, what I say you cast away. Then, 
I fancy, the time is come when you will be glad to have me 
married and got rid of." 

" You do seek marriage ? " 
15 



226 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" I seek to be away from those who flout and despise me, 
who cross me and mistrust me. At least Squire Cleverdon 
and I understand each other, and regard each other." 

"Yes," broke in Julian ; "for in each is the same yeast 
of sourness." 

" Be silent, Julian," commanded her father. "Let me 
hear the boy out." 

" What concern me the quirks and hints I hear concern 
ing Jule?" pursued Fox, unable, in spite of his father, =to 
contain himself from a stroke at his sister ; " let them fly 
about thick as midges, they are naught to me they do r.ot* 
sting me. Why, father, you should grudge me Bessie 
Cleverdon, I cannot see. If you respect her so highly 
think so excellent well of her I doubt but no other maid 
would so content you as a daughter-in-law as she." 

" A better girl does not exist," answered Mr. Crymes. " I 
would desire her a better fate than to be united to thee." 

" She is not comely, that is a fact," continued Fox, " but 
she will be the richest heiress in all the Tavistock district 
between here and Plymouth and Exeter. Now that Mas 
ter Cleverdon has fallen out with his son, and that there is 
no riddance by Anthony of the wife with whom he has 
saddled himself, not to please his father, or himself Or 
Jule yonder " 

Mr. Crymes brought his fist down on the table. 

"I will drive thee out of the room at another word 
against thy sister." 

" Do you notice, father," exclaimed Julian, with flaming 
cheeks, " it is poor Bessie's money and the lands of Hall 
that he covets, and he seeks this by levering out of his 
place his best friend and old comrade." 

" Did I lever him out of his place ? " retorted Fox. " He 
did it himself, and never a little finger did I put to help in 
his upsettal." 

" No, but you are ready to profit by his loss ; ready, if 
you could, to get me as your confederate in fencing every 
inlet by which he might return to his father," said Julian, 
vehemently. 

"Because one man is a fool, is that reason why his 
friend as you choose to term me should not be wise? 
Because one man throws away a diamond, why his comrade 
should not pick it up and wear it on his finger ? " 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 227 

" The case is not the same. It is taking the jewel, and 
smiting the rightful owner in the face when he puts forth his 
hand to reclaim it, and that rightful owner your friend." 

"My friend !" exclaimed Fox, angrily. "Why should 
you call Anthony Cleverdon ' my friend ? ' Was it an act 
of a friend a dear, considerate friend to strike me in the 
eye and half blind me ? Look ! " Fox turned his left side 
towards his sister. "Do I not carry about with me a mark 
of friendship a pledge to be redeemed ? Trust me, I shall 
return that blow with usury some day, when the occasion 
comes." 

" And you will employ poor Bessie as your lash where 
with you filip him in the face. You are a coward a 
mean " 

" Silence ! " commanded Mr. Crymes. " There is no grain 
of brotherly love between you two " 

" Not a grain," threw in Julian, hotly. 

Fox bowed sarcastically. 

" You observe, father," he said, " that here I am at a dis 
advantage, between a sister who spars at me and a father 
who treads me down." 

"I do not tread on you save when you grovel in the 
dirt," answered Mr. Crymes, " in base and dishonest mat 
ters, and I do esteem this suit of Elizabeth Cleverdon as 
one such." 

" Opinions vary. You make me willing to leave my 
home, though it be not mine, nor thine neither, father, but 
that of sister Julian, who stuffs my pillow with thorns and 
the seats of her chairs with nettles. I would be away at 
any price, and if I can go to Hall and live there with 
Squire Cleverdon, I doubt not I shall be more content than 
I be here." 

" You will live there ? " said his father. 

" No doubt. Master Cleverdon has ever had his daughter 
Elizabeth with him. He might have sent her packing, as 
he sent his own sister packing, when he needed her no 
more, and that would have been when Anthony brought 
home a wife to his taste. As he has not if Julian still 
persists in declining to be my mother-in-law why, I 
reckon that Bess will remain at Hall. A man must leave 
father and mother and cleave t6 his wife so it will be 
scriptural, and that should content thee, father," 



228 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

The old man drew forth his 'kerchief and wiped his face. 

"I suppose, father," continued Fox, "that you will 
hardly let me go penniless out of the house? That would 
be a pretty comment on your professions. You must have 
saved something, and there is that little scrap of land still 
ours in Buckland " 

Mr. Cryrnes again wiped his face. He did not know 
what answer to make. 

" Or, is the fashion set by Squire Cleverdon of cutting 
his son off without a shilling infectious, that my father has 
taken it, and will follow suit, and sicken into the same 
green infirmity ? " 

"No," said Mr. Crymes, "I will do what is right; but 
you spring this on me, I am taken aback " 

" I did not spring it on you. That is one of the many 
kindnesses I have received from Jule." 

" I do not know what to say. You must give me time 
to consider. This journey to London has cost me a -con 
siderable sum of money." 

"There comes the usual excuse for shirking out of a 
money obligation which cannot be enforced by law. Say 
on, father the times have been bad, the hay was black 
with rain, the corn did not kem well, the mottled cdw 
dropped her calf, the tenants have not paid, and so my 
poor boy gets nothing but advice in bushels and exhorta 
tions in yards." 

"Having insulted your sister, now you throw your jibes 
at me. That is not encouraging to me to deal handsomely 
towards you." 

"I did not think, father, that you needed to be coaxed 
and caressed to do an act of justice." 

"I do not ask that of thee, but I must consider. It ill 
pleases me that you should have thought of Bessie 
Cleverdon." 

"If I had chosen some worthless wench without a penny 
to bless herself withal, you would have shaken the head 
and broken the staff over me. Now that I have chosen one 
who is in all ways unexceptional, who is a wealthy heiress 
of irreproachable manners of life, the favourite of everybody, 
a dutiful daughter, it is all the same you disapprove. Is 
there aught I could do any change that I could make 
that would give thee pleasure ? " 



TJR1TH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"None till I saw there was an amendment in thy 
self." 

" If I can give satisfaction in no way to thee, father, I 
may assuredly make choice for myself. Bess may not be 
beautiful, but she pleases me she has what is better than 
beauty, all Hall estate on her back. It will be to your 
advantage and to that of Jule that I should take her you 
will thus be rid of me, who content neither of you, simply 
because my tongue has a point to it, and I do not suffer it 
to lie by and be blunted." 

Then Julian laughed out. 

"What avails all this reckoning and debating over a 
matter that cannot be settled til] the main person con 
cerned has been consulted? Bessie, I am very sure, has 
not the faintest waft of a notion that such schemes are 
being spun about her, or had not till I spoke with her 
yestreen. She will never take thee, Fox. Bessie has a 
good heart and a shrewd understanding, and neither will 
suffer her to take thee." 

" You think not ? " asked Fox, superciliously. 

"I am sure she will not," answered Julian. 

"We shall see," said Fox. " She is not as was her 
brother, one to fly in the face of a father. He has set his 
mind to it, and if Julian will not have him, then he will 
yet have an Anthony Cleverdon to sit on his seat, and reign 
in his stead, when he has been gathered to his old yeoman 
fathers." 

" How mean you ? " 

" Why, thus I am Anthony. I was thus christened. And 
if I take Bess, I will throw aside my surname of Cryrnes, 
which brings me little and take that of my father-in-law. 
So he will have an Anthony Cleverdon to carry on the 
name, and I " his face assumed a malevolent expression 
" I shall have spoiled for ever his own son's chances. It 
shall be down in black-and-white, and bound as fast as I 
can bind him. See if I cannot manage for myself." 

He stood up, took his hat, and set it jauntily on his 
head, then at the door turned, and with a mocking laugh, 
said : 

"There, sister Jule ! Is not that a slap in the face for 
Anthony that will make his cheek tingle ? " 

He left the room. 



230 tRITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Mr. Crymes laid his brow in his Laud, and his elbow on 
the table. 

" ' Fore heaven ! " he sighed, " I curse the day that gave 
me such a son." 



CHAPTER XXXH. 

MORE JARS. 

A drizzling rainy day. A day on which nothing could 
be seen but a wavering veil of minute dust of water. A 
drizzle that was wetting, and which penetrated everywhere. 
The air was warm, laden with moisture, oppressive, nud 
depressing. From a window could be seen nothing be 
yond a hedge. Trees seemed to be bunches of cotton 
wool ; the drizzle crawled or was drawn along by a damp 
wind over the grass along the hedge, beading every blade 
and twig with the minutest drops of moisture. The shrubs, 
the plants stooped, unable to support the burden deposited 
on them, and shot the impalpable water-dust down on the 
soil in articulate drops. 

Although the drizzle was excluded by roof and walls 
from the house, the moisture-charged atmosphere could not 
be shut out, and it made the interior only less wretched 
than outside the house. The banisters, the jambs of the 
door, the iron locks were bedewed, and the hand that 
touched them left a smear and came off clogged with water. 
The slates of the floor turned black, and stood with drops, 
as though the rain had splashed over them. Wherever 
there was a stone in the wall of a slatey or impervious 
nature, it declared itself by condensing moisture, sweating 
through plaster and whitewash, and sending tears trickling 
down the walls. The fireirons became suddenly tarnished 
and rusty. The salt in the cellar and salt-box was sodden, 
and dripped brine upon the floor, as did the hams and 
sides of bacon hung up in the kitchen. The table-linen 
and that for the beds adhered to the fingers when touched. 

Anthony stood at the window in the hall looking out, 
then he went to the fire ; then took down a gun from over the 
mantel-shelf, and looked at the lock and barrel ; stood it in 
the corner of the fire, and resolved by and by to clean it. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 231 

Then he went to the window again, and wrote his initials 
on the window-pane, or tried to do so, and failed, for the 
condensation of moisture was not inside but without, on 
the glass. 

He had nothing to occupy him ; no work could be done 
on the farm, and employment or amusement lacked in the 
house. 

'Where was Urith ? She might come and talk to and 
entertain him. 

What is the good of a wife, unless she sets herself to 
make home agreeable to her husband, when he is unable 
to go out-of-doors ? 

Where was Solomon Gibbs? He might have talked, 
fiddled, and sung, though, indeed, Anthony had no relish 
just then for music, and he knew pretty well all the topics 
on which Uncle Sol had aught to say. His anecdotes had 
often been retailed, and Anthony loathed them. He knew 
when Sol was preparing to tell one, he knew which he was 
about to produce, he was acquainted with every word he 
would use in telling his tale. 

Anthony had grown irritable of late with Sol, and had 
brushed him rudely when he began to repeat some hack- 
nied anecdote. On such a day as this, however, even Uncle 
Sol were better than no one. 

At length, Anthony, impatient and out of humour, went 
upstairs and called Urith. She answered him faintly from 
a distance. 

" Where are you hidden ? What are you about ? " he 
called. 

" In the lumber-room," she replied. 

He followed the direction of her voice, and came to a 
sort of garret full of every kind of discarded article of 
domestic use, old crocks that had lost a leg, broken-backed 
chairs, a dismantled clock, corroded rushlights, bottles 
that were cracked, a chest of drawers which had lost half 
the brass handles by which the drawers could be pulled out. 

In the obscurity, dishevelled, covered with dust, and 
warm with her exertions, stood Urith. She put her hand 
to her face, and pushed her strayed hair from her eyes. 

"I want thy help, Tony," she said. "I have been 
searching, and at length, I have found it. But I cannot 
carry it forth myself." 



232 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Found what ? " 

" O how can you ask ? Do you not see what it is ? " 

It was an old, dusty, cobweb-covered, wooden cradle. 

" What do you want, Urith, with this wretched bit of 
rummage?" 

" What do I want it for ? O Tony, of course you know. 
It is true I shall not need it immediately not for some 
months, but I shall like to have it forth, and clean it well, 
and polish its sides, and fit it up with little mattress and 
pillows, and whatsoever it need, before the time comes 
when it is required to be put in use." 

" I will not have this wretched old cradle," said Anthony. 
" It is not meet for my son the heir to Hall and Wills- 
worthy." 

" You are reckoning too soon " laughed Urith. " Per 
haps you may have a daughter, not a son." 

" A daughter ! I do not want a maid ; no I shall never 
forgive you, if it be not a boy. Urith, My everything 
depends on that. When there is a new Anthony Cleverdon, 
my father can hold out in his obstinacy no longer. He 
must give way. An Anthony Cleverdon of Willsworthy, 
and not of Hall ! It would go against all his pride, against 
his most cherished ambition. It cannot, it shall not be. 
Urith, a boy it must be, and what is more, he shall not lie 
in that dusty, cobweb-clad pig-trough. It would not be 
come him." 

" But, Tony," laughed Urith, " it was mine, I was rocked 
in that. It was not so bad that I could not sleep therein." 

" Oh, you ! " he spoke disparagingly in tone. " You were 
only heiress of Willsworthy, but my young Anthony will 
be something much different from that." 

" I want my child to lie in the same crib in which I was 
rocked. It will be a pleasure to me." 

" I will not have it. This is too mean." 

" What does it signify ? " 

" If it does not signify, then let me go and buy a new 
cradle." 

" No," said Urith. " No there I lay when a poor little 
feeble creature ; and there, in the same, it shall lie when it 
cornea" 

" I will go into Peter Tavy to the carpenter, and order a 
new cradle." 



UMITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 233 

"I will not use it if you do. We have not the money to 
waste on luxuries. A child will sleep as Avell in this as in 
a painted cradle." 

All at once, Anthony flushed to the roots of his hair. A 
thought had struck him, that if he bought a new cradle he 
must do so with his wife's money. He had nothing of his 
own. He was her pensioner. There stood at his side an 
old rusty bar of iron ; in his anger and disgust he grasped 
this, raised it, and brought it down on the cradle, breaking 
down its side. 

" Anthony ! " exclaimed Until. " Anthony ! you would 
not have done that had any love, any respect remained in 
your heart for me. You would have loved the little crib 
in which I was laid, if you loved me." 

He did not answer her. Ashamed at his own conduct, 
embittered at her opposition to his wishes, discontented 
with his lot, he left the garret and descended the stairs. 

On reaching the hall, he found Solomon Gibbs there ; 
he had been out in the rain, and had come in very wet. 
His face was red and moist, proclaiming that he had been 
drinking, but he was not intoxicated, only hilarious. He 
had cast his hat on the table, a broad-brimmed felt hat 
that had absorbed the rain like a sponge, and was now 
giving it forth in a stream that made a puddle on the table 
and ran over the side, dripped on to a bench, and having 
formed a slop there fell again to the flooi*, there producing 
another pool. The water ran off Uncle Sol's dress and 
oozed from his boots that were rent, and had admitted 
water within, which now spirited forth from the gaps at 
every step. Solomon had taken down a single-stick, with 
basket handle, from the wall, and was making passes, 
wards, and blows in the air at an imaginary opponent, and, 
as he delivered his strokes, he trilled forth snatches of 
song : 

I'm a hearty good fellow, as most men opine. 
Then he whacked from right to left 

So fill up your bumpers, and pass round the wine, 
Singing, Tol-de-rol lol-de-rol. 

He fell to the ward. 



234 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Come on, Tony lad ! 'Tis cursed moist weather, and 
no fun out of doors. I've been to the Hare and Hounds, 
but no one there, and not even I can drink when there be 
no comrades with whom to change a word. Come, Tony, 
take a stick and let us play together, perhaps it will dry 
me, for I am damp, uncommon damp." 

" Take your hat off the table," said Anthony, in ill-hu 
mour. He was accustomed to order and cleanliness in his 
father's house, and the ramshackle ways of Willsworthy 
displeased him ; Uncle Sol was a prince of offenders in dis 
ordering and befouling everything. " Take your hat off. 
We shall have the board spread shortly, and how can we 
eat off it when it is slopped over by the drainage of your 
dirty beaver ? " 

" Nay, Tony, boy ; let it lie. See here I be. I will 
stand on the defence, and you take t'other stick ; and, if 
you beat me off, you shall remove my hat ; but, if I remain 
master, you shall pull off my boots. Can't do it myself, by 
heaven, they be so sodden with water." 

"I will make you both remove your hat and kick 
off your own boots," said Anthony, angrily. "Dost think 
because I have married the niece that I am abased to be 
the uncle's serving-mail ? 'Fore heaven, I'll teach thee the 
contrary." 

He went to the wall, took down a stick, and attacked 
Solomon Gibbs with violence. 

Uncle Sol, for all the liquor he had drunk, was sober 
enough to be able to parry his blows, though handicapped 
by his drenched garments, which weighed on his shoulders 
and impeded rapid movement. 

Anthony was not an accomplished single-stick player ; he 
had not a quick eye, and he had never possessed that ap 
plication to sports which would render him a master in 
any. Satisfied if he did fairly well, and was matched with 
inferiors who either could not or would not defeat him, he 
had now small chance against the old man, who had been 
a skilful player in his youth who, indeed, had stuck to his 
sports when he ought to have held to his studies. 

The old man held the stick between his hands over his 
head jauntily carelessly, it seemed but with perfect as 
surance ; whereas Anthony struck about at ramdom and 
rarely touched his antagonist Authouy was in a bad tern- 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 235 

per be faced the window ; whereas Uncle Sol stood with 
his back to the light, and to the table, defending his soaked 
hat. Anthony was the assailant ; whereas Sol remained on 
the defensive, with an amused expression in his glossy 
face, and giving vent at intervals to snatches of melody 
showing his unconcern, and heightening his opponent's 
irritability, and causing him every moment to lose more 
control over his hand and stick. 

Once Anthony struck Uncle Sol on the side, and the 
thud would have showed how dead with wet the old man's 
coat was, even had not water squirted over the stick at the 
blow. 

" Well done, Tony ! One for thee ! " Then Mr. Gibbs 
brought his stick down with a sweep, and cut Anthony on 
the left shoulder. 

The sting and numbness roused Anthony's ire, and he 
made a furious attack on his antagonist, which was re 
ceived with perfect equanimity and the hardly-broken 
strain of 

I sing of champions bold, 
That wrestled not for gold. 

With ease, and without discontinuing his song, Sol 
caught a blow levelled at his skull, dealt with such force 
that Tony's hand was jarred by it. 

And all the cry 
Was Will Trefry, 
That he would win the day. 
So Will Trefry, huzzah ! 
The ladies clap their hands and cry 
Trefry ! Trefry, huzzah ! 

Down came Sol's stick on his antagonist's right shoulder. 

"There, there! You are no match for me," laughed 
the old man. "Will you give over and pull off my 
boots?" 

" Never ! " shouted Anthony, and struck at him again, 
again ineffectually. 

" Look out, Tony ! save your head ! " 

The old man, by a dexterous back-handed blow, struck 
up Anthony's staff, and with a light stroke he touched his 
ear. He had no intention to hurt him, he might have cut 
open his head had he willed ; but he never lost his good- 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

humor, never took full advantage of the opportunities 
given him by the malaclroituess of his antagonist. 

It was exasperating to the young man to be thus played 
with, trifled with by a man 'whom he despised, but who he 
felt was, at all events at single-stick, his master. 

" Hah ! " shouted Anthony, triumphantly. His stick had 
caught in Sol's wig, and had whisked it off his skull, but 
instantly the old man with a sweep of his staff smote his 
stick from the hand of Anthony, leaving him totally dis 
armed. 

" There, boy, there ! Acknowledge thyself vanquished." 

Then the old fellow threw himself down on the bench, 
with his back to the table. 

" Come, lad, pull off my boots." 

"I will not," said Anthony, savagely, "you had unfair 
odds. You stood with your back to the window." 

" I was guarding my hat. Leave it where it lies, dribble, 
dribble drip, and take my place on the floor, and try an 
other bout, if thou wilt Coine on, I am ready for thee." 

Mr. Solomon Gibbs stood up, resumed his single-stick, 
and stepped into the midst of the hall. Anthony, with 
face on tire with annoyance and auger, stooped for his own 
weapon, and then took the place with the table behind 
him, where previously Mr. Gibbs had stood. 

"Ready ! " called Sol. "Come along! so be L" 

Another bout, staves whirling in the air, feet dancing for 
ward, backward, to this side, then to that. 

Reports as of pistols, when the sticks met. 

Anthony was no match for the old gentleman even now 
that he had the advantage of the light. Sol was without 
his wig, he had not resumed it, and his shaven pate exhib 
ited many a scar, the mark of fonner encounters in which 
he had got the worst, but in which also he had acquired 
his skill. 

" My foot slipped ! " said Anthony, as, having dealt an 
ineffectual blow from which Uncle Sol drew back, Anthony 
weut forward to his knee, exposing himself completely to 
the mercy of his antagonist. "It is that cursed wet you 
have brought in not fair." 

" Choose a dry spot," said SoL 

"You have puddled the whole floor," answered the young 
man. 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 237 

" Then it is equal for both of us. I have given thee 
many advantages, boy." 

" I want none. I will have none." 

His eye was on the old man's bald head ; the sting of the 
blows he had received had exasperated him past considera 
tion of what was due to an aged man, the uncle of his wife. 
The blows had numbed in him every sense save anger. 
He longed to be able to cut open that smooth round skull, 
and so^ revenge his humiliations and relieve his ill-humour. 
But he could not reach that glossy pate, not smite which 
way he would, so dexterous was the ward of Uncle Sol, so 
ready was his eye, and quick his arm in responding to his 
eye. 

Not an advantage of any kind could he get over his ad 
versary ; he rained his blows fast, in the fury of his disap 
pointment, hoping to beat down his guard by mere weight 
of blows ; and Uncle Sol saw that he was blinded with 
wrath and had lost all sense of play, having passed into 
angry earnest. Then he twirled the stick from Anthony's 
hand once more, so that it flew to the ceiling, struck that, 
and fell by the hearth. 

Mr. Gibbs laughed. " Mine again, Tony, boy ! " He 
cast himself into the settle by the fire, stretched forth his 
legs, and said, " Come, pull off my boots." 

Anthony stood lowering at him, panting and hot. 

" He strip't him to the waist, 
He boldly Trefry faced, 
I'll let him know 
That I can throw 
As well as he to-day ! 
So little Jan, huzzah I 
And some said so but others, No, 
Trefry, Trefry, huzzah ! " 

Sol sang lustily, with his hands in his pockets and his legs 
extended. 

" Come, lad, down on your knees, and off with my 
boots." 

Anthony did stoop, he went on one knee, not on both, 
and not to pull off the old man's boots, but to pick up his 
single-stick, whirl it round his head, and level a blow at the 
head of the undefended Uncle Sol : the blow would have 



238 UR1TII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

fallen, had not Urith, who had entered the room at the 
moment, sprung forward, and caught it in her hand. 

" Coward ! " she exclaimed, " coward ! my uncle ! an 
old man ! I hate you. Would God I had never seen 
you!" 

He had hurt her hand, he saw it, for she caught it to her 
bosom, then put it to her mouth, but her eyes glared at 
him over her hand like white lightning. 

" A scurvy trick, lad did not think thee capable of it," 
said Uncle Sol. " Has he hurt thee, child ? " 

He stood up. 

Anthony flung the single-stick from him with an oath, 
put his hand to his brow, stood for a minute confronting 
Urith, looking into her fiery eyes, without exculpation, 
without a word. Then he turned, took up Uncle Sol's hat, 
without observing that it was not his own, flung it on his 
head, and went forth. 



CHAPTEK 

INTO TEMPTATION. 

Never is man so inflamed with anger, so overflowing 
with gall against others, as when he is conscious that he 
has laid himself open to animadversions. Anthony was 
bitter at heart against his wife and against her uncle, be 
cause he was aware, without being ready to acknowledge 
it, that he had acted ill towards both. 

Why should not Urith have yielded at once to his wishes 
about the cradle ? How obtuse to all delicate and elevated 
feeling she was to think that such a dusty, dingy, worm- 
eaten crib would suffice for his son, the representative of 
the house of Cleverdon the child who was to be the 
means of reconciliation between himself and his father 
the heir of Hall, who would open to him again the pa 
ternal mansion, and enable him to return there and escape 
from Willsworthy, a place becoming daily more distasteful, 
and likely to become wholly insupportable ! That he had 
seen the cradle under disadvantage, in its abandoned, for 
gotten condition, and that it could be made to look well 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 239 

when a little feminine skill and taste had been expended on 
it, did not occur to him. 

Moreover, his wife had no right to resist his wishes. 
He knew the world better than she he knew what befitted 
one of the station his child would assume better than she. 
What might do for an heir to Willsworthy would be inde 
cent for the heir to Hall what might have suited a girl 
was not adapted to a boy. A wife should not question, 
but submit ; the wish of her husband ought to be para 
mount to her, and she should understand that her husband 
in requiring a thing acted on his right as master, and that 
her place was to bow to his requisition. The old sore 
against his father that had partially skinned over broke out 
again, festered and hot. He was augry against his father, 
as he was against Urith. He was angry also with Mr. 
Gibbs for having proved a better man than himself at 
single-stick. Of old, Anthony had shown himself a tolera 
ble wrestler, runner, single-stick player, thrower of quoits, 
player at bowls, among the young men of his acquaintance, 
and he had supposed himself a match for any one. Now 
he was easily disarmed and defeated by a half-tipsy old 
loafer, who had done no good to himself or any one in his 
life. 

He had gone down in public estimation since his mar 
riage he who had been cock of the walk. And now he 
was not even esteemed in his own house ; resisted by his 
wife, who set at naught his wishes, played with and beaten 
by that sot her uncle. 

There was no one who really admired and looked up to 
him any longer, except Julian Crymes. 

He had wandered forth in the wet, without a purpose, 
solely with the desire to be away from the house where he 
had met with annoyance, where he had played but this 
he would not admit, though he felt it so poor a figure. 
He took his way to Peter Tavy, and went into the little inn 
of the Hare and Hounds at Cudliptown, the first hamlet he 
reached. 

No one was there. Uncle Sol had sat there, and tippled 
and smoked ; but had finally wearied of the solitariness, 
and had gone away. Now Anthony sat down where he 
had been, and was glad to find no one there, for in his 
present humour he was disinclined for company. The land- 



240 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

lord came to him and took his order for aqua vitce, brought 
it, and seated himself on a stool near him. But Anthony 
would not speak, or only answered his questions shortly, 
so as to let the man understand that his society was not 
desired. He took the hint, rose, and left the young man 
to his own thoughts. 

Anthony put his head in his hand, and looked sullenly 
at the table. Many thoughts troubled him. Here he had 
sat on that eventful night after his first meeting and asso 
ciation with Urith on the moor. Here he had sat, with 
his heart on fire from her eyes, smouldering with love 
just as an optic-glass kindles tinder. Here he had drunk, 
and, to show his courage, had gone forth to the churchyard 
and had broken down her father's head-post. He had 
brought it to this house, thrown it on this table there ! 
he doubted not, was the dint made by it when it struck 
the board. 

How long was it since that night ? Only a little over a 
twelve-month. Did Urith's eyes burn his heart now? 
There was a firo in them occasionally, but it did not make 
his heart flume with love, but with anger. Formerly he 
Avas the Avell-to-do Anthony Cleverdon, of Hall, with money 
in his pockets, able to take his pleasure, whatever it cost 
him. Now he had to reckon whether he could afford a 
glass before he treated himself to one, was warned against 
purchasing a new cradle as a needless expense, a bit of un 
pardonable extravagance. 

He tossed off his glass, and signed for it to be refilled. 
. Then he thought of his father, of his rebellion against 
him, and he asked Avhether any good had come to him by 
that revolt. He, himself, was 'like to be a father shortly. 
Would his son ever set him at defiance, as he had defied 
his father ? He wondered what his father was thinking of 
him ; whether he knew how straitened his circumstances 
were, how clouded his happiness was, how he regretted the 
nnretraceable step he had taken, how he Avas weary of 
Willsworthy, and how he hungered to hear of and to see 
Hall once more. There Avas little real conscious love of 
his father in his heart. He did not regret the breach for 
his father's sake, think of the desolation of the old man, 
Avith his broken hopes, his disappointed ambitions ; he saw 
things only as they affected himself ; he was himself the 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 241 

pivot about which all his meditations turned, and he con 
doled with, lamented over, himself as the worst-used of 
men, the man most buffeted by misfortune. 

Anthony kicked the legs of the table impatiently. The 
host looked at him and smirked. He had his own opinion 
as to how matters stood with Anthony. He knew well 
enough that the young man was unlike Mr. Gibbs, was no 
toper ; he had rarely stepped within his doors since his 
marriage. As the host observed him, he chuckled to him 
self and said, " That fellow will come often here now. He 
has a worm at the heart, and that worm only ceases to 
gnaw when given aqua vltce or punch." 

What if the old Squire were to remain obdurate to the 
end ? What if he did not yield to the glad news that he 
was grandfather to a new Anthony Cleverdon ? Anthony's 
heart turned sick at the thought. His son to be con 
demned to a toilful life at Willsworthy ! But what if Urith 
should at some future time be given a daughter, then her 
estate would pass away from the young Anthony, and the 
representative of the Cleverdons would be adrift in the 
land without an acre, with hardly a coin and Hall would 
be held by an alien. 

He stamped with rage. 

His father was possessed with madness ; the whole blame 
fell on his father. Why was the old grudge against Rich 
ard Malvine to envenom the life of the son and grand 
children of the Squire ? By the course he took the Squire 
was not hurting the man whom he hated, who was in his 
grave and insensible to injury, but his own living direct 
descendants ! Anthony was stabbing at his own family, in 
his insensate malice. He thought over his quarrel with 
the old man, and he regretted that he had not spoken 
plainer, given his father sharper thrusts than he had that 
he had not dipped his words in pitch, and thrown them 
blazing into his father's face. 

His cheeks were burning ; he clenched his fists and 
ground his teeth, and then bowed his hot brow upon his 
clenched hands. No doubt his father would hear how ab 
surdly Urith had danced at the Cakes, and would laugh 
over it. He held up his head and looked round him, 
thinking he heard the cackle of his father, so vividly did 
he portray the scene to his imagination. No one was in 
15 



242 URIT1I: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

the room save the taverner ; but Anthony caught his eye 
fixed on him, and he turned impatiently away. 

Urith was not there was no blinking the matter a wife 
suitable to him. He compared her with his sister. Bessie 
was sweet, gentle, and with all her amiability dignified ; 
Urith was rough, headstrong, and sullen. She was uncouth, 
unyielding did not understand what were the tastes and 
requirements of a man brought up on a higher plane of re 
finement. He was weary of her lowering brow, of her si 
lence, her dark eyes with a sombre, smouldering fire in 
them. He wondered how he could ever have admired her ! 
He never would feel content with her. He had saciificed 
for her the most splendid prospects that any man had, and 
she did not appreciate the sacrifice, and bow down before 
him and worship him for it. 

He knocked over his glass and broke it. By heaven ! 
He wished he had never married Urith. 

Anthony stood up, and threw down some coin to pay 
for his brandy and for the broken glass. He had knocked 
over the glass in the gesture and start of disgust, when 
he had wished himself unmarried, and now he must pay 
for the glass with money that came to him from Urith. 
He knew this, it made him writhe, but he quickly 
deadened the spasm by the consideration that for every 
groat he had of his wife, he had given up a guinea. She 
was in debt to him, and the ridiculous little sums placed at 
his disposal were but an inadequate acknowledgment of 
the vast indebtedness under which she lay. 

He stood for a few minutes irresolute in the rain, un 
certain in which direction to turn. Home? To Wills- 
worthy ? To the reproaches of Urith, to the tedious jests 
and drawled-out songs of Mr. Gibbs ? To the sight of 
Urith ostentatiously holding her hand in a sling to let him 
know that he had hurt her, when she intercepted the blow 
aimed at her uncle ? 

"Pshaw ! " said Anthony. " She is not hurt, she cannot 
be hurt. She caught the stick in her palm. It stung her, 
no doubt, but will pass. But what an outcry and fuss will 
be made over it" 

Yet his heart reproached him for these complaints. He 
knew that it was not the way with Urith to make an out 
cry and a fuss. If he had hurt her, she would disguise 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 243 

the fact. Anyhow, he resolved not to go back to Wills- 
worthy. 

Should he go on to Peter Tavy, and visit his cousin Luke? 

No he had no desire for the society of a parson. Luke 
had mairried him to Urith ; Luke was in part to blame for 
his present condition of dissatisfaction. Luke might sure 
ly, if he had poked about in his books, have discovered 
some canonical reason why the marriage could not have 
taken place, at least as early as it did. Then with delay 
his love might have abated, his head would have become 
cooler, he would have been better able to balance loss and 
gain. 

"Loss and gain!" scoffed Anthony; "all loss and no 
gain ! " 

Luke would surmise that all was not right, he was keen- 
sighted he had already had the impertinence to give an 
oblique admonition to Anthony to be tender and forbear 
ing to his wife. If he went to him now, Luke would nail 
him, and hammer remonstrances into him. 

By heaven ! no he wanted no sermons preached to him 
on week-days. 

He walked to the door of Farmer Cudlip. The Cudlips 
had been on that estate much as the Cleverdons had been 
at Hall, for centuries, but the Cudlips had owned their own 
land, as yeomen, whereas the Cleverdons had been tenant- 
farmers. Now the Cleverdons had taken a vast stride up 
the ladder, whereas the Cudlips, who had given their name 
to the hamlet, had remained stationary. The Cudlips, 
though only yeomen, were greatly respected. Some of 
the gentle families were of mushroom growth compared 
with them. It was surmised that the Cudlips had origin 
ally been Cutcliffs, and that this yeoman family had issued 
from the ancient stock of Cutcliffe of Damage, in North 
Devon, which had gone forth like a scriptural patriarch 
and made itself a settlement on the verge of the moor, and 
called the land after its own name ; but there was no evi 
dence to prove this. It was at one time a conjecture of a 
Eector of Peter Tavy, who mentioned it to the Cudlip then 
at Cudliptown, who shrugged his shoulders and said, "It 
might be for ought he knew." In the next generation the 
descent was talked about as all but certain, in the third it 
was a well-established family tradition. 



244 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Anthony stood in the doorway of the old ancestral farm. 
He had knocked, but received no answer ; no one had 
come to the door in response. He knew or guessed the 
reason, for overhead he heard Mistress Cudlip putting the 
youngest child to bed ; he had heard the little voice of the 
child raised in song, chanting its evening hymn : 

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, 
Bless the bed that I lay on. 
Four angels to my bed, 
Two to bottom, two to head ; 
Two to hear me when I pray, 
Two to bear my soul away. 

Probably Farmer Cudlip was not within. Had he been, 
the knock of Anthony would have been responded to by a 
loud and hearty call to come in. 

Anthony did not repeat the knock. It was of no use his 
entering that house if the master were out ; he did not 
want to pass words with women folk. But he halted 
where he was in order to make up his mind whither he 
should go. He craved for not exactly flattery, but some 
thing of that adulation which had been lavished on him by 
all alike old and young, men and maids when he was 
Anthony Cleverdon of Hall, and which had been denied 
him since he had become Anthony Cleverdon of Willswor- 
thy. 

Under the humiliation he had received in his own house, 
under the sense of disgrace which he had brought on him 
self, first by his anger over the cradle, and the breaking it 
down with a blow of an iron bar ; then, by his hand raised 
over an old man, defenceless ; he felt a real need for adu 
lation. He could not hold up his head, recover his moral 
elasticity till he had encountered some one who did not 
flaunt and beat him down. Fox should he go and see Fox 
at Kilworthy ? Fox was his friend ; Fox had a sharp tongue 
and could say cutting things that would make him laugh, 
would shake the moths out of his fretted brain. Yes, he 
would go to Kilworthy and see Fox. 

As he formed this resolution he was conscious that he 
was false to himself. He did not want to see Fox. Fox 
would not look up to him with eyes full of loving devotion. 
Fox's colour would not flush to the cheek when he entered. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 245 

Fox's pulses would not bound when his step was heard on 
the gravel. Fox would not in words encourage him to 
think well of himself, to esteem himself again as the old 
cock of the walk in plumage, instead of a wretched drag 
gled fowl. No he did not want to see Fox, but Fox's 
sister. He would go to Kilworthy to see, to hear Julian 
Crymes, but he repeated to himself " I must have a talk 
with Fox." 

Then he heard the little child's voice upstairs repeating 
the Prayer of Prayers after its mother. 

" Forgive us our trespasses," said Mistress Cudlip. 

"Tespusses," said the child. 

" As we forgive them that trespass against us." 

"As we 'give them " a pause. The mother assisted 

the little one, and it completed the sentence. 

"And lead us not into temptation." 

"And lead us not 

Anthony drew his cloak closer about him, shook the 
water from Solomon's hat, that he wore, and set it again on 
his head. 

"Into temptation," said the mother. 

"Lead us not into temptation," repeated the child. An 
thony bent his head, and went out into the rain, went heed 
less of the warning that hammered at his heart, went wil 
fully into temptation. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

A COLD WOOING. 

" Get yourself ready," ordered Squire Cleverdon, look 
ing at Bessie across the table. " Your aunt is unwell, and 
I have sent word that we would come and see her. A wet 
day, and nothing better to be done, so AVG can find out 
what is the matter with her." 

" Certainly, father," answered Elizabeth, with alacrity. 
"I hope nothing serious is the matter with her?" 

"Oh, serious, no," 

The manner of the Squire was never gracious to his 
daughter ; always imperious, but this day there was a pe- 



246 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

culiarity in it that struck her. There was, she felt instinct 
ively, something in the background. 

" What is it, father ? I pray you tell me. She is not in 
any danger ? " 

" Oh, danger? No." A twitching of his cheeks marked 
inner uneasiness. 

Bessie looked anxiously at him. " I am sure, father, you 
are hiding something from me." 

" Go at once and get ready ! Do not stop chattering here 
like a parrot," he roared forth, and Bessie fled. 

Elizabeth had no anxiety over the weather. That was 
not the day of umbrellas, but then, neither was it the day of 
fine bonnets. The skirts were worn short, and did not 
trail in and collect the mud. A woman pinned up her gown, 
or looped it at the girdle, exposing a bright coloured petti 
coat, and below that her ankles, and there were many 
inches between the mud and the petticoat A thick serge 
mantle covered gown and petticoat ; it was provided with 
a hood that was drawn over the head, and bright eyes 
looked out of the hood and laughed at the rain and cold. 

We sometimes wonder now how the world got on before 
the introduction of the umbrella. Very well. It was dryer, 
warmer, better protected in foi-mer days. It is only since 
the invention and the expansion of the parapluie, that those 
marvels of millinery, the nineteenth-century bonnet, piled 
up of feathers and flowers, and bead and lace, became pos 
sible. The umbrella has been a bell-shade under which it 
has grown. 

Mr. Cleverdon was not communicative on the ride to 
Tavistock. Now and then he growled forth a curse on the 
weather, but said nothing against Magdalen. This sur 
prised his daughter, who was accustomed to hear him grum 
ble at his sister if she occasioned him any inconvenience ; 
but she charitably set it down to real concern for Magdalen, 
and this increased her fear that more was the matter with 
her aunt than her father chose to admit. 

Aunt Magdalen really was indisposed ; but the indispo 
sition was partly, if not chiefly, due to her distress of mind 
about her niece. She knew that her brother had resolved 
to act upon her own to marry Bess to young Crymes, and 
that he expected his sister to help him to overcome any op 
position that might be encountered from Bessie. Poor 



VRITH: A TALE Off DARTMOOR 247 

Elizabeth had as little suspicion, as she accompanied her 
father to Tavistock, that he was about to sacrifice her, as 
had Isaac when he ascended Moriah at the side of Abraham. 

When Mr. Cleverdon and Bessie arrived at the house of 
Miss Magdalen, near the Abbey Bridge, they observed a 
man's hat and cloak hung up in the hall. 

" Oh ! " exclaimed Elizabeth, " the doctor is here ! I am 
sure my aunt is really very ill." 

At the same moment the side door opened, and the old 
lady appeared, and caught her niece in her arms. 

"He is here," said Magdalen "arrived only a minute 
before you." 

" Who is here ? " asked Bessie. " What do you mean ? " 

" Come aside with me into my snuggery," said her aunt. 
" I have a word with you before I speak with your father, 
and in the parlour he will find Anthony." 

" Anthony ! My brother ! " with a joyful flash from 
Bessie ; and she flung her arms round her aunt. " Oh, 
you dear you good Aunt Magdalen ! You have " 

"Have done with this folly," said the Squire, angrily. 
" Are you still such a fool as to think that when I say a 
thing I shall change about ? No your brother is not in 
there, but your bridegroom." 

Miss Cleverdon put up her hand entreatingly to stop her 
brother, and hastily brought her niece into the adjoining 
room and shut the door. 

" What is the meaning of this ? " asked Bessie, with some 
composure. She had now a suspicion that the visit con 
cerned herself, and not her aunt. 

"My dear," said Magdalen, "do seat yourself no, not 
in that chair ; it is hard, and there is something wrong 
with the back the bar comes exactly where it ought not, 
and hurts the spine at least, I find it so. I never sit in it 
myself, never. Take that seat by the fireplace. I am so 
sorry there is nothing burning on the hearth, but, on my 
word, I did not expect to have you in here. I thought I 
might have spoken a word with you in the parlour before 
he came, or but, bless my heart, Bess ! I am so distracted 
I hardly know what I thought." 

Bessie shook down her skirt over her dark-blue petti 
coat, and seated herself where her aunt desired, then laid 
her hands in her lap, and looked steadily at Miss Cleverdon. 



248 URITJI: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"You are not ill, then ? " she said. 

" Oh, my dear, ill ! I have not slept a wink, nor had a 
stomach for aught. I should think I was indeed ill, but 
all about you. You must remember that the command 
ment with promise is that which refers to the submission 
of a child to the parent ; but, Lord ! Bess, I would not 
have you forced against your wishea Your father's mind 
is made up, and he has met with a sore disappointment in 
the case of Anthony. I do think it will be a comfort 
to him, and heal over that trouble somewhat, if he finds 
you more pliant than was Anthony. But, Lord ! Bess, noth 
ing, I trust, hinders you no previous attachment. Lord ! I 
did at one time think that your heart was gone a-hankering 
after Luke." 

Bessie, who had become very pale, flushed, and said, " I 
entreat thee, aunt, not to have any fancies concerning me. 
I never gave thee grounds for any such opinion." 

" I know that, I know that, child. But, Lord ! an old 
woman like me must have her thoughts about those she 
loves and wishes well for." 

"Aunt," said Bessie, "I think I can understand that my 
father desires to have me married, and has asked }'qu to 
see me thereon. I have had some notions thereupon my 
self, but I would gladly hear from you whom he has fixed 
on, though, indeed, I think I can guess." 

" It is Fox," answered Miss Cleverdon, and looked down 
on the floor, and arranged her stool, which was slipping 
from under her feet. " There, there, I have told thee ; 
thy father put it on me. And I can only say to thee that 
which thou knovvest well thyself. He belongs to an an 
cient family, once well estated, but now sadly come down ; 
nevertheless, there is something of the old patrimony re 
maining. He is thy father's friend's son ; and as it has come 
about that the families that were to be united by my nephew 
have not been thus joined, it is not wonderful that your 
father would see them clipped together by thee." 

" I cannot indeed take Fox," said Bessie, gravely. 

" Well well the final choosing must be with thee, 
wench. All that thy father can do is to say he desires it, 
and all I can do is to support him. God forbid that we 
should constrain thee unwilling, and yet a blessing does 
rain down from above the clouds on the heads of such chil. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 249 

dren as be obedient. Now look to Anthony, and see if lie 
be happy, having gone against his father's wishes." 

" Is he unhappy ? " asked Bessie. 

" I do not think him the same at all. He is restless, and 
his mood has lost all brightness. I have not seen much 
of him, but what I have seen has made me uneasy concern- 
in" 1 him, and what Fox tells me still further disconcerts 

o 

me." 

" I may not go to Willsworthy. I may not see my 
brother nor Urith except by very chance I meet them," 
said Bessie, heaving a sigh, and her eyes filling. " My 
father seems no nearer forgiving than he was at first." 

"I do not think that aught will move him to forgive 
ness save, perchance, the finding of ready obedience in 
thee." 

"I cannot indeed I cannot, in this," said Bess. 

" Lord ! I would not counsel thee against thy happi 
ness," pursued Magdalen. " But see how ill it has worked 
with Anthony. He followed his own will, and went 
against the commandment of his father, and it eats as a 
canker into his heart, I can see that ; now if then " 

Then the door was thrown open, and the Squire ap 
peared in it, with Fox behind his back in the passage. 

"Sister," said old Cleverdon, "time enough has been 
spent over preparing Bess for what must be. As you have 
not brought her unto us, to the parlour, we've come in 
here to you. Come in* Tony ! Come in ! Look at her 
there she sits ; kiss her, lad ! She is thine ! " 

But Fox did not offer to do what he was required ; Bes 
sie started and drew back, fearing lest he should, but was 
at once reassured by his deprecatory look and uplifted 
hand. 

" May I enter? " asked Fox. 

" Come in, boy, come in ! " said the old man, answering 
for his sister, as though the house were his own ; and his 
own it might be considered, for it was paid for and fur 
nished out of Hall ; the maintenance of Miss Cleverdon fell 
on him and his estate. 

"Come!" said the Squire, roughly, "shut the door be 
hind you, boy. Go over beside her. Take her hand. 
Hold out yours, Bess. Doy' hear? It is all settled be 
tween us." 



250 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Fox entered the room, fastened the door, and remained 
fumbling at the lock, with his face to it, affecting great 
diffidence. Mr. Cleverdon took him by the arm and thrust 
him away, and pointed imperiously to where Bess sat, near 
the fireplace, on which burnt no spark ; her hands lay in 
her lap folded, and her eyes on the hearth. The window 
was behind her. The little room was panelled with dark oak 
that was polished. There were no pictures, no ornaments 
on the wall only one oval pastel over the mantelshelf of 
Magdalen when she was a girl. The colour had faded from 
this, the pink gone wholly it was a poor bleached picture 
of a plain maiden ; and now beneath it sat one as blanched, 
for all the colour had gone out of Bessie's face, and she had 
assumed the same stiff attitude that her aunt had main 
tained when drawn by the artist. 

Fox, with apparent reluctance, went over to the fireplace ; 
Elizabeth looked at her father with great drops formed on 
her brow, as though the damp of the atmosphere had con 
densed on that surface of white alabaster. 

" Give him your hand. Are you deaf?" 

Elizabeth remained with her hands folded as before, her 
eyes wide open, fixed reproachfully on her father. She 
had given her young life to him, borne his roughness, ex 
perienced from him no love, no consideration in every 
way sacrificed herself to make his home happy, and now he 
cast her happiness from him, gave her up to a man for 
whom she had no regard, without* considering her feelings 
in the smallest degree. Then Magdalen looked at the 
crayon drawing of herself and down at Bessie, and some 
reminiscence at once painful and yet sweet in its bitterness 
came back to her a remembrance, may be, of some sacri 
fice she had been called to make when about Bessie's age, 
and the tears came into her eyes. 

"Brother," she said, "you are too hasty. The poor 
child is overcome with surprise. You handle her too 
roughly. Tell her that her well-being is dear to you, tell 
her that this plan of yours has been considered by you as 
the best for her, but do not attempt to drive her, as you 
might a sheep into the fold to be shorn, with a crack of 
whip and bark." 

"You keep silence, Magdalen," said the Squire. "You 
have had time to say what you had, and have, it seems, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 251 

wofully mismanaged the task set tkee. I ought to know 
how to deal with my children." 

"Nay, brother, I cannot be sure of that, after what has 
fallen out with Anthony." 

Magdalen regretted having made this sharp reply when 
it was too late to recall it. 

"You understand me, Bess," said the old man ; "I have 
let you see by the way in which I have treated that rebel 
lious son of mine, that my wishes are not to be slighted, 
my commands not to be disobeyed. You do as I tell you. 
Give your hand to Tony Crymes, or else " 

Bessie's calm, steadfast eyes were on him. He did not 
finish his sentence. 

" Or else, what, father ? " she asked. 

He did not answer her ; he put out one hand to the table, 
leaned on it, and thrust the other behind him under the 
coat-tails. His brows were knit, and his eyes glittered into 
stony hardness and cruel resolve. 

"I cannot obey you, father," said Bessie. 

" You will not ! " shouted the old man. 

" Father, I neither will, nor can obey, you. I have known 
Fox, I mean Anthony Crymes, ever since I have been a 
child, but I have never cared for him." She turned to Fox 
apologetically ; even then, in that moment of trial and pain 
to herself, she could not endure to say a word that might 
seem to slight and give a pang to another. "I beg your 
pardon, Fox, I mean that I have never cared for you more 
than, in any other way than, as a friend, and as Julian's 
brother." 

" Pshaw ! What of that? " asked the old man, somewhat 
lowering his voice, and attempting to keep his temper un 
der control. "Love comes after marriage where it did not 
precede it. See what love comes to when it is out of place 
before it, in your brother's case." 

" I cannot promise Anthony Crymes my love, for I know 
it never will come. I am glad he is the friend of my 
brother, and as such I regard him, but I esteem him only 
for what merits he has in him. I never can love him 
never never ! " 

" Disobedient hussy ! " exclaimed the old man, losing the 
slight control he had exerted momentarily over himself. 
" Am I to be set at defiance by you as well as by Anthony ? 



252 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

By heaven, I did not think there was such folly in the fam 
ily. It did not come from me not from my side. I will 
be obeyed. I will not have it said in the town that I can 
not have my own way with my children." 

He looked so angry, so threatening, that Fox interfered. 
He slipped between Bessie and her father, and said : 

" Master Cleverdon, I will have no constraint used. If 
you attempt to coerce Bessie, then I withdraw at once. I 
have known and loved her for many years, and would now 
have hardly dared to offer myself, but that you cast out 
the suggestion to me. I saw that Bessie did not love me, 
and I held back, hoping the time might come when she 
would, perhaps, be guided less by the feelings of the heart 
and more by the cool reason of the brain. If she refuses 
me, it shall be a refusal to me, to an offer made in my own 
way, with delicacy and consideration for her feelings, not 
with threat and bluster. Excuse plain speaking, Squire, 
but such are my views on this matter, and this is a matter 
that concerns Bessie and me first, and you, Master Clever 
don, afterwards." 

"Yes," said Magdalen, "your violence, brother, will ef 
fect nothing. You will only drive your remaining child 
from under your roof, as YOU drove Anthony." 

" Be silent, you magpie ! " shouted old Cleverdon, but he 
looked alarmed. 

"Now," said Fox, "you have frightened and offended 
Bessie, and effected no good. Let her walk home, although 
it is raining, and I will accompany her part of the way, if 
not the whole, and speak to her in my own manner, and 
hear her decision from her own lips." 

Bessie stood up. 

"lam content," she said; "but do not for a moment 
think that my determination is to be changed. Have with 
you, Fox. Father, you will follow when your business in 
the town is over, and will catch me up. You said, I think, 
that you were going up to Kilworthy to see Mr. Crymes." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 253 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

A WET WOOING. 

Bessie and Fox walked side by side, but without speaking, 
as long as they were in the street of Tavistock, with houses 
on both sides. Here there were, perhaps, more mud, more 
numerous puddles, than outside the town. Moreover, -the 
water that fell on the roofs dripped or shot in streams 
down on the heads of such as ventured to walk near the 
walls, and the only escape from these cataracts and douches 
was in the well-worn midst of the street where the dirt 
was deepest because the roadway was there most trampled. 
The douching from the descending shoots of water, the 
circumventing of the pools, caused the walk of the two to 
be no more than approximately side by side. No walk 
could be direct, but must consist of a series of festoons 
and loops ; but on passing the last house, Fox came bold 
ly up to the side of Elizabeth Cleverdon, and said : 

" Bessie, I am at a disadvantage ; who can be the lover 
in such weather, and how can I lay myself at thy feet when 
the road is ankle-deep in mire? I should sink into the 
slough of despond and the mud close over my head and 
back or ever I had an answer from thee." 

" There can and will be no romance in the matter," an- 
'swered Elizabeth. " It is to me a sad and serious business, 
for if there be truth in what you say that you have cared 
for me, then I am sorry to disappoint you ; but, on my 
honour as a maid, Fox, I never suspected it." 

" That may well be, for thou art so modest," replied Fox 

Crymes. "Yet I do assure thee the attachment has been 

of a long time, and has thrown its roots through my heart. 

Even now or now least of all, would I have held my 

tongue had not thy father encouraged me to speak." 

" Why least of all now ? " 

" Because now, Bessie, that thy brother Anthony is out 
of favour thou art an heiress with great prospects ; and 
neither would I seem to make my suit to thee because of 
these prospects, nor to step into the place and profits that 
should have belonged to Anthony." 



254: URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Bessie looked round at him gratefully. 

" I am glad you think of Anthony," she said. 

" Of course I think of him. He is my friend. None 
have mourned more than I at his estrangement from his 
father. It has affected him in many ways. Not only is he 
cut off from Hall and his father, but disappointment has 
soured him, and I do not believe he is happy with his wife." 

" What ! Anthony not happy with his wife ! " Bessie 
sighed and hung her head. She remembered the dance at 
the Cakes, Anthony's neglect of Urith, and the attention 
he paid to Julian. No doubt this had occasioned a quarrel 
when he reached his home. Poor Anthony! Poor An 
thony ! 

"And now," said Bessie, gently "now that we are 
quite alone together, let me assure you that, though I am 
thankful to you for the honour you have done me by ask 
ing for me, that yet 1 must beg you to desist from press 
ing a suit that must be unsuccessful. I can after what 
you have said, and after the good feeling you have shown 
I will, respect you. I can do no more." 

"You have given your heart to another?" half-asked 
Fox, with a leer that she did not notice. 

" No no one has my heart, for no one has thought it 
worth his while to ask for it, except you ; and, alas ! to 
you I cannot give it." 

"But, if it is still free, may I not put in a claim for it ? " 

"No it can never be yours." 

"I will not take such a refusal. At bob-apple any boy 
may jump for the fruit, till it is carried away. Your heart 
is hung up to be jumped for, and I will not be thrust aside, 
and refused permission to try my luck along with the rest" 

"No one else will think of coming forward." 

" There you are mistaken, Bess. Consider what you are 
now at all events what you are esteemed to be. You will 
inherit Hall and till your father's savings. Your father has 
made no secret of his determination to disinherit Anthony. 
He has told several persons that he has made his will anew, 
and constituted you his heiress, your husband to take the 
name of Cleverdon. This is known and talked about every 
where. Do you suppose that with such a prospect there will 
not be a score of aspirants ready to cast off their names 
and become at once the husband of the most charming girl 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 255 

anywhere in South Devon, and a rich Squire Cleverdon of 
Hall?" 

Bessie was infinitely hurt and shocked. She to rob her 
brother of his birthright ! God forbid ! 

" Fox," she said, " this can never be. If I should at any 
time become owner of Hall, I would give it up immediately 
to dear Anthony." 

"But," said Fox, with a mocking laugh on his face, "is 
it not likely that your father knows what you would do, 
and will take precautions against it, by settling the estate 
through your husband on your eldest son ? You could 
not, were the estate so settled, do as you propose." 

Bessie was silent, looking down into the mud, and for 
getting to pick her way among the puddles. The rain had 
formed drops along the eave of her hood, and there were 
drops within on the fringes of her eyes. 

" You will be persecuted by suitors," Fox continued, 
"and I ask } r ou is there any you know about hei'e whom 
you would prefer to me ?" 

She did not answer him, she was thinking, with her 
hood drawn by one hand very close about her face, that 
no one approaching, nor Fox, should see her distress. 

"Do not speak of others," said Bessie, at length ; "suffi 
cient to let things be till they come. I am, and you need 
not pretend it is not so I am but a plain homely girl, and 
that will dampen the ardour of most young men who sigh 
for pretty faces." 

"You do yourself injustice, Bessie. For my part I 
look to the qualities of the heart and understanding, and 
you have a generous and noble heart, and a clear and 
sound understanding. Beauty withers, such qualities 
ripen. I never was one to be taken with the glitter of 
tinsel. I look to and love sterling metal. It was your 
good qualities which attracted my admiration, and, 'fore 
Heaven, Bess, I think you uncommon comely." 

" I pray you," urged Bessie, ' desist from your suit. I 
have told thee it is fruitless." 

" But I will not desist without a reason. Give me a 
reason, and I am silent. Without one, I will press on. I 
have a better right than any of the unknown who will 
come about thee like horseflies after awhile." 

" I do not love thee. Is not that a reason ? " 



25C URITH: A TALfi OF DARTMOOR. 

" None nt all. I do not see why thou mayest not come 
to like me." 

Bessie walked on some way in silence. 

Presently she said, in a plaintive, low voice : " I will give 
tbee, then, a reason ; and, after that, turn on thy heel and 
leave me in peace. I have ' Her voice failed her, and 
she stepped on some paces before she could recover it. 
" I tell thee this, Fox, only because thou hast been frank 
with me, and hast shown me a generous heart. My reason 
is this and, Fox, there must, I reckon, be some confi 
dence between two situated as we are it is this, that long, 
long ago I did dearly love another, and I love him still." 

" Now, Bessie ! " exclaimed Fox, standing still in the 
road, and she halted also, " you assured me that you had 
given your heart to none." 

"I have given it to none, for none asked it of me." 

" I do not understand. You speak riddles." 

"Not at all. Cannot a poor, ugly girl love a man 
noble, wise and good and never let him know it, and 
never expect that it will be returned? I have heard a 
tale of a Catholic saint, that he wore a chain of barbed 
iron about his body, under his clothing, where it ate into 
his flesh and cankered his blood ; but none suspected it. 
He went about his daily tasks, and laughed with the merry 
makers ; yet all the while the barbs were working deeper 
into him, and he suffered. There may be many poor, ill- 
favoured ay, and well favoured wenches like that saint 
They have their thorny braids about their hearts, and hide 
them under gay bodices, that none suspect aught. But 
God forgive me," said Bessie, humbly, with soft, faltering 
voice "God pardon me that I spoke of this as a chain of 
iron barbs, festering the blood. It is not so. There is no 
iron there at all, and no fester whatsoever only very long- 
drawn pains, and now and then, a little pure, honest blood 
runs from the wound. There, Fox, I have shown this only 
to thee.' No one else knows thereof, ami I have shown it 
thee only as a reason why I cannot love thee." 

Fox Crymes made a grimace. 

Bessie stepped along her way. Fox followed. 

Presently she turned, hearing his steps, with a gesture 
of surprise, and said, "What, not gone yet?" 

" No, Bessie, I admire thee the more, and I do not even 



UBITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 257 

now give over the pursuit. I would yet learn, hast tliou 
any thought that he whom thou lovest will be thine." 

"No ! no ! never ; I do not desire it." 

"Not desire it?" 

"Nay, for he has loved another ; he has never given me 
a thought. I must not say that. Kind and good he has 
ever been a friend ; but he can and will be nothing more." 

" There you mistake, Bessie. When he learns that you 
are the heiress to Hall his eyes will be wonderfully opened 
to your charms, and he will come and profess he ever loved 
thee." He spoke bitterly, laying bare his own base mo 
tives in so doing. But Bessie was too guileless to suspect 
him. She reared herself up ; his words conveyed such a 
slight on the honor of Luke that she could not endure it. 

" Never ! never ! " she said, and her eyes flashed through 
her tsars. " Oh, Fox ! if you knew who he was you would 
never have said that." 

"But if he should come and solicit thy hand?" 

"He cannot. He has told me that he loved another." 

Sbe resumed her walk. 

Fox continued to attend her, in silence. He was puzzled 
what line to adopt. What she had told him had surprised 
and discomfited him. That Bessie the ordinary, plain- 
faced, methodical Bessie should have had her romance 
was to him a surprise. 

How little do we know of what passes under our very 
feet. Who dreamed of magnetic currents till the mag 
netometer registered their movements? Waves roll 
through the solid crust of earth without making it tremble 
at all ; magnetic storms rage around us without causing a 
disturbance in the heavens, and but for the unclosing of 
our eyes through the scientific instrument we should know 
nothing about them have laughed at the thought of their 
existence. 

" I must needs walk on with thee," said Fox ; " for I can 
not leave thee till thy father come and overtake thee. And 
if I walk at thy side, well we must talk, at all events I 
must, for my tongue has not the knack of lying still behind 
my teeth." 

Fox was at heart angry at his ill-success ; he had hoped 
to have made a great impression on Bessie by the declara 
tion of his love. She was but an ordinarily-favoured girl, as 



258 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

he knew well enough had never been sought by young 
men, always thrust aside, accustomed to see others pre 
ferred to herself at a dance to be left against the wall 
without a partner, after church to be allowed to accompany 
her father home, without any lad seeking to attach himself 
to her and disengage her from the old man. To a girl so 
generally disregarded his addresses ought to have come as 
a surprise, and have been accepted with eagerness. He 
was in a rage with her for the emphatic and resolute man 
ner in which she refused him. 

"I>t us talk of Anthony," said he. 

<k With all my heart," she replied, with a sigh of relief. 

" Do you see any way in which your brother can be re 
ceived again into favour ? " he inquired. 

She shook her head. " Nothing that I can say has any 
effect on my father. He will not permit me to go near Wills- 
worthy." 

" Then I can say what is the ouly way in which peace 
and good will may be brought back into the family. It 
lies in your hands to build a bridge between your father 
and Tony. I am certain that in his heart the old Squire is 
discontented that things should remain as they are, but he 
has spoken the word, and he is too proud to withdraw it. 
If it could have come to pass that you took my hand, then 
I do not believe that your father would resist our united 
persuasion. See how much weight we could have brought 
to bear on him, how we could have watched our opportu 
nities, how if it should happen at any time that Tony 
should have a child, we might have brought it to the old 
man, set it on his knees, and then together have taken the 
right moment to plead for Anthony." 

Bessie drew a long breath. 

" I would do a great deal, almost anything, to bring about 
what you speak of, but this means is beyond my power. 
It cannot be. I know now how good and faithful a friend 
you are to my dear, dear brother Anthony. I must again 
speak very plainly. I do desire, Fox, in all ways to spare 
you a wound, but you will take no refusal. You said, ' Let 
us talk of Anthony,' and you work it round to the same 
point I shall never marry ; I cannot marry you ; I shall 
take no one else. I pray you desist from your pursuit. 
You heard what Aunt Magdalen said, that my father, if he 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 259 

persisted, would drive me to run away, as did Anthony. 
It will be so. If my father will not accept my refusal, then 
I must go. I shall go to Anthony and his wife, or to my 
aunt. I could not swear what is false to you or to any one 
else. Before the minister of God I would not pi'omise 
love, and love to my husband only, knowing that I could 
not love, for my love was elsewhere. No," added Bessie, 
shaking her head, " I must be true, always true, to myself, 
and before God." 

As she spoke, both heard the clatter of horse's hoofs. 
They halted, parted, one on each side of the road, and 
looked back. A man was galloping along with his head 
down against the rain, he did not look up, but remained 
bowed as he approached. 

" Father ! " called Bessie, for she recognised both the 
horse and the rider. He did not draw rein, apparently he 
did not hear her. Certainly he saw neither her nor Fox. 
Wrapped in his own thoughts, forgetful of his daughter, 
of his promise to take her up, he galloped past, and sent 
the mud flying from his horse's hoofs, bespattering her as 
he passed. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

IN TEMPTATION. 

Anthony entered the little parlour, or bower, of Kil- 
worthy. It looked comfortable and bright. A fire of logs 
burnt on the hearth, with turf thrust into the interstices 
between the logs, and the pleasant fragrance of the peat 
filled the room, without being strong enough to be offen 
sive. Outside, everything was grey and moist and dull, 
within a red and yellow sparkle, and a sense of dryness. 
The walls were hung with good paintings, in silvered 
frames, richly carved. A crimson mat was on the polished 
floor and embroidered crimson curtains hung by the 
window. 

Julian was doing no work. She was sitting by the fire 
in a day dream, in much the attitude that was assumed by 
Bessie at that very time in the little parlour of Aunt Mag 
dalen's house, beside her cold, cheerless hearth. 



260 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Authony hat! thrown off bis wet cloak and sopped hat, 
and was fairly dry beneath them, he wore high and strong 
boots, and these he had made as clean as was possible on" 
the mats before entering. 

" How are you, Julian ? Where is Fox ? " 

Julian started as he spoke. Her mind had been engaged 
on him, and the sound of his voice came on her unwelcome 
at that moment. 

Sitting over her fire she had been considering her con 
duct, asking herself whither she was going, what was to be 
the end of her encouragement of Anthony. 

She repeated to herself as excuse, that she had thrown 
the glove at Urith, and that the challenge had been ac 
cepted. The contest was a fair and open one ; each used 
wh:vt weapons she had. If men might call each other out 
and fight, why not women also contend on their own special 
ground, in their own manner ? 

Urith had won in the first round, had earned off the 
prize, but iu this second round, she Julian was beating 
her adversary. She could not take the prize over to her 
self, and wear it as her own ; that she knew well enough ; 
but she could render it worthless in the eyes of Urith 
spoil irretrievably her pleasure in it 

Was she justified in pursuing her advantage ? Was the 
result she would arrive at one to fill her with content ? 
She would destroy the happiness of Urith, perhaps that also 
of Anthony, break in pieces all domestic concord for ever 
in Willsworthy, to satisfy her own pride and revenge. 
She loved Anthony, always had loved him, but had suffi 
cient cool resolution not to go a step with him beyond what 
she would allow herself, to establish the completeness 
of her triumph over Urith. She loved him out of pure 
sel6shness, without the smallest regard for his well-being, 
hardly more compunction for the torture she was adminis 
tering than has the child that plays with a cockchafer by 
thrusting a pin through it, attaching a thread to the pin, 
and whirling the insect round his head. But Julian was 
not suffere.l to proceed without some qualms of conscience, 
some warnings given by her better nature, and when An 
thony entered it wus at a moment when she had almost 
resolved to give up the contest, satisfied with what she had 
gained. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 261 

Fox was out, answered Julian to Anthony's inquiry, he 
had gone into the town. Then she was silent. 

Anthony went into the window, where was a box seat, 
and planted himself there, not looking at her, but looking 
away, at the door ; and he took his knee between his 
hands. Both remained silent. He was weary, not with the 
length of his walk, but with walking wrapped in a cloak 
that had become heavy with moisture, and with the close 
ness of the day. He was, moreover, in no good mood, dis 
satisfied with himself, discontented with the world, and at 
a loss what to sny, now that he found himself in the com 
pany of the girl he had come to see. 

Julian pouted, and looked at the fire. The day, with its 
continuous drizzle, had been one of tedium to her. She was 
not accustomed to work, like Bessie, whose hands were 
never idle. She took up some embroidery, tried to paint, 
attempted knitting, and threw all aside, after ten minutes, 
with restless impatience. She had taken a book in the 
afternoon, read a chapter, remembered that she had read 
the same book before, and cast it into the window seat. 
She did not even replace it on its proper shelf. Then she 
had fallen to her desultory musings, to listening languidly 
to her conscience, and answering its remonstrances eva 
sively. She had, as already said, almost resolved to leave 
Anthony alone, and to be content with what mischief she 
had already done. But the resolution/was no more than 
almost arrived at ; for she had not the moral courage to 
make a final resolution to which she would force herself 
to adhere. 

Anthony, on his side, had been spoiled, so, on her side, 
had Julian. He had been flattered and made much of as 
the heir to Hall ; she had been treated in a similar manner 
as heiress to Kilworthy. Her mother had died early, her 
father was an unpractical political and religious dreamer, 
who had exercised no control over her ; and she had been 
brought up chiefly by servants, who had fawned on her, 
and given her whatever she wanted. She was therefore 
wayward, wilful, and selfish, with no fixed principles, and 
no power of self-control a feminine reflex of Anthony, 
but with more passion and latent force of character than 
he. 

The two sat silent for full ten minutes, each looking in 



262 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

an opposite direction, and each with a shoulder turned to 
the other. Anthony had come hoping to be received with 
pleasure; but Julian showed no alacrity in receiving his 
visit, and this helped to depress him. 

Presently Julian turned her face over her shoulder, and 
said, " I suppose you do not know where Fox is, or you 
would not have come to his lair." 

" Certainly I do not know." 

Anthony looked at the window-glass. Either the fire 
had considerably heated the atmosphere of the room, or 
the wind without had veered northward and made the air 
colder, for breath had condensed on the glass. He put up 
his finger, and wrote on a pane "A. C." 

" I know, for he was too full of his plans to keep them 
from bursting forth at his mouth," said Julian. 

" I dare be bound it was so," answered Anthony, list 
lessly ; then on another pane he wrote " J. C." 

" And you are not interested to know whither he has 
gone and what he seeks ? '' 

" No," said Anthony, " I came here to see him. I 
found no one at Cudliptown, and Sol Gibbs is duU com 
pany at Willsworthy." 

" You have other company there than Sol Gibbs." 

" Whom do you mean ? " 

" There is TJrith your w ife," with a sharp flash of her 
eye out of the coroner ; and insensibly she put one knee up 
and hugged it as did Anthony. 

" Oh ! Urith," he repeated, in a tone in which she dis 
cerned something like a sneer. 

" Your wife." 

"One cannot be talking to a wife all day," he said, peev 
ishly, and let fall his leg and loosened his plaited fingers. 
She instinctively did the same. 

" Can you not ? Oh, indeed, that is news to me. I 
should have thought that you would never have lacked 
material for talk. Flames, darts hymeneal altars smok 
ing. " 

He looked sullenly out of the window, turning his back 
to her, and made no reply. She waited for a response, 
then said, 

"If not these subjects, then chickens and goslings. " 

He turned his head impatiently, and said, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 263 

"You are mocking me. You! and I came here for 
comfort from you you, Julian ! " 

There was pain in his manner and expression, and she 
was somewhat touched. 

" Oh, Anthony, you said you had come here after Fox, 
and now you say you came to see me. " 

He passed his hand over his forehead to wipe away the 
drops formed there. He did not answer her, to correct 
the effect of his words, but put up his hand to the glass, 
and with a shaking finger drew on the diamond pane, 
between the initials, a lover's knot. 

'Anthony, " she said, after a pause, "I suppose I must 
tell you why Fox has gone into Tavistock, for it concerns 
you mightily, and you should not be kept in the dark 
concerning him. Do you recall what I said when we were 
dancing together at Wringworthy ? " 

"No, Julian, nothing. That was a bright and delightful 
dream. I have awaked out of it, and remember, nothing." 

"I told you that Fox had set his mind on Bessie your 
Bessie. You scouted the notion, but I spoke the truth. 
And he has been as open to his father and me thereon as 
is possible for him. You, Anthony, have a good and kind 
nature you are too ready to trust any one. Always up 
right and straightforward yourself, never thinking evil in 
your heart, never putting forth a foot to trip up an en 
emy certainly never a friend." 

Anthony's head was raised. This was what he wanted 
a few words of commendation came down as warm rays of 
sunshine on his depressed and drooping heart. 

" You, Tony, have never mistrusted Fox, for it was not 
in you to mistrust any one. But I know his real nature. 
He is seeking his own ends. He has been over at Hall 

two and three times a week, and " she laughed, "will 

you- believe it ? has been cajoling the old man, your father, 
into the belief that it is possible he may win and wear me, 
as as" she hesitated. " As he was disappointed " 

Anthony turned and looked at her, and their eyes met. 
Hers fell, and he looked again hastily at the window-pane 
at the initials, and the lover's knot between them. The 
moisture had collected in the figures he had described, 
and had formed drops at the bottom of each downstroke. 

" That is not all. Whether your father builds greatly on 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

this or not I cannot say ; but Fox has dangled the pros 
pect before Lira, whilst he snatched at something for him 
self even at Bessie, the heiress of Hall, now that you are 
thrown out into the wet and cold. " 

Anthony sighed involuntarily. Yes, he was out, indeed, 
in the wet and cold at \Villsworthy not metaphorically 
only, but actually as well. 

"Now," continued Julian, "you shall hear the whole 
plan as worked out. Fox has gone in to-day to meet 
Bessie and your father at your Aunt Magdalen's house, 
and your aunt has been inveigled into uniting her persua 
sion to the commands of your father to induce Bessie to 
jump down the Fox's throat. " 

" It cannot be," said Anthony. "Bess will never and 
she does not cave for Fox. " 

" She may not have the power to resist. Girls have not 
the daring and independence of you men. When Fox has 
got his way, then he intends to change his name, and live 
at Hall with your father, who will re-settle the property on 
him and his heirs, that, so there may still be an Anthony 
Cleverdon of Hall. " 

" Never ! No never ! " exclaimed Anthony, springing 
to his feet. " He cannot he shall not do that. Fox will 
never play me such a base trick as that ! Bessie never will 
lend herself to be made a tool of like that ! " 

" Bessie is true to you that never doubt; but do not 
lean on my brother : he is false to every one." 

" He never shall become a Cleverdon. What ! Good 
heavens ! He take my name, my place, my rights, my in 
heritance, my everything?" 

" Not everything," said Julian, maliciously. " He does 
not stretch a hand for your Urith and for Willsworthy 
only for what you tossed away as valueless." 

Anthony uttered an oath, and cast himself back where 
he had been before, in the seat in the window, and put his 
hands to his brow and clasped them there, leaning his head 
against the window sill. 

Then, for some while, both remained silent, but Julian 
turned herself about in her seat to look at him. 

Was that the same Anthony she had loved and admired ? 
This dejected, sad man, with his head bowed, his f:i<'t> 
pale, and lined with trouble ? it was certain that he was 



URITB: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 265 

vastly altered. Her woman's eye detects a difference in bis 
clothing. Formerly he had been ever dapper ; without 
foppishness, his dress always of the best and well cared 
for ; now it was old and worn, in places threadbare. Nor 
was it, though poor, yet with the merit of being attended 
to. Timely stitches had not been given where they had 
been needed, nor tags and buttons added that had fallen 
off. His boots were shabby and trodden down at the heel. 
The wet and dirt undoubtedly gave to them a special 
shabbiness on that day, but Julian could see that they 
were out of shape and past their best days. The trim- 
ness and gloss had gone out of Anthony's outer case and 
his spirit within had lost as much, if not more. There 
was none of the ancient merriment, none of the self-con 
scious swagger, none of the old assurance of manner in 
him. He had become morose, peevish ; he showed a dif 
fidence which was the reverse of his former self. It was a 
diffidence mingled with resentment, the product of his con 
sciousness that the world was turned against him, and of 
his bitterness at knowing this. Anthony's nature was one 
that required sunshine, as a peacock demands it that its 
beauty and splendour may appear. Come rain, and how 
the feathers clog and droop and draggle how squalid a 
fowl it appears ! So was Anthony now a faded discon 
solate shadow of his old self, without the nerve to bear up 
against what depressed him, the adaptability to shape 
himself to his new surroundings. 

As Julian looked at him she pitied him. Her love for 
him warmed her, and made her forget the cruelty of the part 
she was playing. The child of impulse, feeling this qualm 
of compassion, she rose and gently came across the room 
to him. 

He heard her not, coming in her light slippers on the 
carpet, so engrossed was he in his wretched thoughts. 
Every one had turned against him every one in whom he 
had trusted. His friend Fox, the only man who had 
seemed not to be affected by the general adverse tone of 
opinion, he had given him the most stinging blow of all. 
He was now at variance with his father, with his friend 
if Bessie consented to take Fox, he could never regard her 
with esteem again ; at home he had quarrelled with Uncle 
Solomon, and raised his hand against him ; he had alien- 



266 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

ated from him his wife ; his aunt was in league against 
him ; the servants at Willswortby would take sides with 
their mistress. What wretchedness ! what hopelessness was 
his ! There was no one no one but Julian who had a word 
of kindness, a spark of feeling for him. He heard the 
rustle of her gown and looked up. 

She was standing by him, looking down on his ruffled 
hair, that hung over his hands, clasped upon his forehead. 
He hastily brushed away the scattered locks. 

" Oh, Anthony ! " she said, " what have you been doing 
here? What drawn on the glass?" 

He slightly coloured, put his hand to the panes and cov 
ered them. 

" Nay," she said, taking hold of his hand, and drawing 
it away, "nay, let me read it." 

"I have writ," said he, bitterly, "what might have been, 

and then " he gulped down his rising emotion, " then I 

had been " 

She stooped and kissed him on the brow, " Poor boy ! " 

Instantly he threw his arms round her neck and drew 
her face to his, and kissed her cheeks and lips, passionately. 
She she alone remained to him and yet how far apart 
they were. 

She sprang away with a cry. 

The door was open, and in it stood old Anthony Clever- 
don. 



CHAPTER XXXVH. 

ANOTHER TEMPTATION. 

Anthony rose, when he saw his father, with instinctive 
filial respect, but he did not look him in the face. He 
could not do this. 

" Hah ! " said the old man, entering the room, and clos 
ing the door behind him. " I had come here with an in 
tent that is now set aside. I had come, Julian, to tell thee 
that it was yet in thy power to weld together the estates 
of Hall and Kilworthy, notwithstanding what has occurred 
that is, if thou wouldst overlook a certain disparity in 
years, and keep thine eye fixed on the main advantage. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 267 

But that is over. I am glad I came when I chanced, and in 
time to save me from running a great risk. Thou art too 
free with thy kisses, too lavish in thy love to please me." 

He spoke as though what he said must wither Julian, 
crush her under the sense of her great loss. His assurance 
that she must be attracted by the same ambition as him 
self was so grotesque that Julian at once rallied from the 
confusion that had covered her, laughed, and said : 

" You do me a mighty honour." 

" Not at all I decline to show you the honour." 

" So much the better. When I walk through a wood I 
do not not like to have the bramble claw at me. If it does, 
then I must turn and put my foot on it. Let the bramble 
hug the nettle, and not aim at the lady." 

Her impudence staggered him. 

" It is mighty sport," she continued, " to hear that little 
Hall desired to hitch itself on to the skirts of Kilworthy. 
But Master Cleverdon, if thou art in a marrying mood, 
prithee go to the next giglet fair, and choose thee there a 
wench." 

Her insolence had its effect ; the effect designed. In 
stead of being attacked by the old Squire, she was the as 
sailant, and she hit him where she knew she could keenly 
wound him, so as to draw off his thoughts from what he 
had just seen. He was offended and angry. 

" There," said she " sit down in my seat by the 
fire. I meant no harm ; but as you were absurd on your 
side, I made grimaces on mine. I am glad you are here, 
and face to face with Anthony, for, mayhap, I can persuade 
you to that which, unpersuaded, you were loth to do." 

The old man was so angry that he did not answer her. 
He remained near the door, doubtful whether to retire or 
to come forward. He had not expected to meet his son 
there, and was unprepared for an interview ; though hard 
ly regretting it, for, in his bitter and resentful spirit he 
was willing that Anthony should hear from his own lips 
what he designed learn to the full the completeness of 
the severance between them. 

" Whatever persuasion you may attempt," said he, look 
ing at Julian, " conies at a wrong time, after you have 
shown me that you are a person who, not respecting her 
self, deserves no respect from another, and after you have 



268 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

grossly insulted me. But I will listen to you, though, I tell 
you, what you say will not weigh with me as a feather." 

" If that be so," laughed Julian, " I will spare myself the 
trouble. But look at your son ; look at him calmly, and 
tell me whether I was wrong in pitying him, a}', and if, in 
consideration of old, tried friendship, that has been almost 
cousinship so well have we known each other since child 
hood was I so very wrong in lightly touching his brow 
with my lips, for from my heart I was sorry for him. 
Think what it would have been for you, when you married, 
had your father lived and treated you as you have treated 
Anthony ! Is a man to be cast out of every home because 
he has committed one folly ? I dare stake my word that 
Anthony has rued his act almost daily ; and is all his 
regret to count for nothing ? " 

"A man must take the consequences of what he has 
done." 

"Julian, I do not wish you to plead my cause," said An 
thony, coming before his father ; " I will speak to him 
myself. I want to ask of him a question or two." 

" I will answer them," said the old man. " Say on." 

" I desire to know for certain whether you intend to give 
Bessie to Fox Crymes ? " 

" Yes, I do." 

" And she consents ? " 

" All are not so disobedient as yourself." 

" And if she refuses ? " 

" She will not refuse. I can but let her go, as I let you 
go. But she will not refuse ; I have that to say to her 
which will make her give way." 

" Then if she takes Fox, do you intend to take him into 
Hall ? " 

"Yes, I do." 

" And under my name ? " 

" Certainly. He changes his name of Crymes to that of 
Cleverdon when he becomes my son." 

" Then I tell you it shall not bo. There shall not be an 
other Anthony Cleverdon in Hall. I give you and Fox 
fair warning. There cannot there shall not be a sup- 
planter in Hall bearing my name." 

"We shall see." 

" Yes you shall see. Tell Fox what I have said." 



TTRITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 209 

" Tell him yourself. I will be no bearer of messages 
between you." 

" Mr. Cleverdon," said Julian, " I cannot let you meet 
and part in my presence, spoiling all my pleasure in this 
little room forever with the remembrance of this scene, 
without one more effort to bring you to agreement. Come, 
now what if Anthony returns to you ? " 

" Returns to me ? " 

" Yes, what if he throws up all connection with Wills- 
worthy ? He is wretched there poverty-stricken. He is 
unhappy in a hundred ways. Look at his face. Where is 
the old brightness where the old pride ? He has lost all 
the ancient merry Anthony, and now is a sad one. Let 
him come back to Hall, and leave Urith to manage with 
her uncle to manage, or mismanage as before, till all 
goes there to pieces. He has committed a boyish folly, 
and he knows it. He has thrown away gold for dross, and 
he has found it out. He will now be twice the Tony to 
you that he was. Then he was thoughtless, careless, devil- 
may-care ; now he has learned a lesson, 'and learned it so 
sharply that he will never forget it again. He has learned 
what disobedience costs what it is to go against a father 
what boy's fancies are compared with matured plans in 
the hea 1 of a man. Give him that chance. Come, you do 
not know Fox as I know him. Take him into your house, 
and lie will not be more dutiful to you than has been your 
own Tony. He will make you unhappy, and your Bessie 
wretched. I saw by Tony's face, when he came here, that 
he had quarrelled with his wife. He came here because 
his home was hateful to him because it was unendurable 
to him to be there any more. We cannot retain him here. 
Let him go to thee, and there will be an end to Fox and 
his story with Bessie. Anthony will be dutiful and loving 
henceforth, and cling to thee, and esteem thee, as he never 
clung to thee and esteemed thee heretofore." 

Anthony was speechless. The blood rushed into his 
face. Everything might be as it was or almost every 
thing. 

Old Anthony Cleverdon stood irresolute. 

He had misgivings relative to Fox. One crafty malevo 
lent nature mistrusts another of the same quality. His 
daughter's peace of mind troubled him little, but he was by 



270 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

no means certain that Fox, once in the house, might not 
presume, aud that there would not be sharp contests be 
tween them. Moreover, when Fox was there, married to 
his daughter, his place would be assured, and the old man 
could not well drive him from it. There were other reasons 
which made the old Squire feel that, to some extent, Fox 
would be unassailable, and might be eminently disagree 
able. 

The suggestion made by Julian was inviting. In the 
depths of his heart lurke.l love for his only sou ; his old 
pride in him was there, and was wounded and sore with 
the spectacle of the lad humbled, sinking out of men's fa 
vour, and out of his old dignity. He looked at him, and 
saw what an alteration had taken place in him how oldened 
and worn in face he was, how shabby in his clothing. 

" Do you know, Mr. Cleverdon," pursued Julian, " why 
it was that poor Tony caught me by the neck and kissed 
me? It was because he was so utterly forlorn and discon 
solate ; he had lost all his friends, his heart was void 
through bereavement from his father ; he was estranged 
from that Jacob, that supplanter, Fox ; he saw his own sis 
ter turning against him, and I doubt not he has not found 
that solace aud sufficiency in his own home that would 
make up for these mighty losses. He held me, because he 
had none other. I do not want him, I have no right to 
him let me cast him off but only on to his father's bosom, 
into his father's arms." 

The old man went to the window aud, looked forth. His 
face was agitated. He must have time to consider. 

Anthony, moreover, remained mute, aud his face was 
troubled. A terrible temptation was presented to him. He 
believed that now, were he to throw himself at his father's 
feet, take his hand, and ask his forgiveness, the old man 
would receive him back at once into favour on the terms 
proposed by Julian. That he would forgive him on any 
other, he might not expect That he knew full well. 

And the old man saw that an opportunity was offered to 
deal the most insulting and cruel stroke to the daughter of 
the man who had incurred his undying hatred. He could 
by a word rob her of her husband, of the prize she had la 
boured to win, but which he could prevent her from retain 
ing. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 271 

To Julian was offered the most complete and open tri 
umph over her enemy. A triumph more complete than she 
could have hoped to gain. Anthony could be nothing to 
her, he would remain as a friend, that was all ; but she 
would see, and show to Urith, her threat made good to 
wrench Anthony away from her. 

Anthony stood with downcast eyes. The* temptation was 
a strong one strong, to a young man who had been hu 
moured and allowed to have his own way uncontrolled, al 
lowed to follow his pleasure or whim without bincU*ance. 
He could not return home without having to face his wife, 
angered and resentful, without having to acknowledge him 
self to have been in the wrong. Anthony Crymes was play 
ing him a treacherous and cruel trick, and here was a chance 
offered him of at once recovering his old position, wiping 
out his past mistake, and discomfiting Fox when on the eve 
of success. Was he sure that he could ever be on the same 
terms as before with Urith ? Had she not been gradually 
estranged from him, till she had declared to him that she 
hated him, that she wished she had never seen him ? 
Would it not be a relief to be rid of him, to be spared any 
more domestic broils ? 

Old Anthony Cleverdon was at the window, and as he 
stood there he marked the initials drawn on the fogged 
glass, and turned and looked at his son. Young Anthony 
noticed the look, and observed what had attracted his 
father's attention. He moved hastily to the window, and 
his father drew away, went to the fireplace, and rested his 
elbow against the mantel-shelf and fixed his eyes intently 
on his son. So also did Julian. Both saw that the mo 
ment was a crucial one. The young man was forced to make 
up his mind on a point which would determine his whole 
after-life. It was more than that, it was a crucial moment 
in his moral life. He must now take a step upward or down 
ward, in the path of right or that of wrong. This neither 
Julian nor his father considered, intent only on their selfish 
ends. But this appeared clearly to Anthony. His inner 
consciousness spoke out and told him plainly where went 
the path of duty and where lay the deflexion from it. But 
the path of duty was a painful one full of humiliations, prom 
ising no happiness, only a repetition of contests with a sulky 
wife, and jars with the foolish Solomon Gibbs, of struggle 



272 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

against poverty, of labour like a common hired workman, 
of loss for ever of bis old position, and deprivation of all the 
amusements that had filled bis former life. 

He and Urith did not suit each other. His temperament 
was sanguine, his spirit mirthful ; he was sociable, and full 
of the sparkle of youth ; whereas she was moody, almost 
morose, had noliumour and laughter in her soul, brooded 
over imagined wrongs as well ns those that were real, and 
could as little accommodate herself to his moofl as could he 
to hers. Surely it were best, under these circumstances, 
that they should part. 

Now Anthony was standing at the window where he had 
stood -before when he drew those initials on the panes, in 
the place occupied recently by his father. So full was he 
of his thoughts, of the rolling of conflicting waves of feeling, 
that he forgot where he was, forgot the presence of his fa 
ther and of Julian the very sense of the lapse of time was 
gone from him. Though he looked through the window, he 
saw nothing. 

Then, all at once, uncalled for, there broke and oozed 
forth in his heart the old vein of love which had been 
filled with so hot and full a flood when he was TJrith's 
suitor ; he saw her with the old eyes once more, and looked 
in mental vision once more into the sombre eyes, as he had 
on the moor, when he lifted her into his saddle, and there 
came over him that sensation of mingled love and fear. It 
seemed to him that now only did he understand the cause 
of that fear ; it was fear lest he himself should prove a 
wreck through lack of love and devotion to her. He 
thought now of how, after their wedding, on his coming 
to Willsworthy, he had taken her in his arms, how her 
dark head had lain on his bosom, and he had stooped and 
kissed her brow, and she had looked up into his face with 
eyes expressive of perfect confidence, of intensest love. He 
thought now how he had forced her against her will, against 
her conscience, to marry him prematurely, after her 
mother's death, and against the dying command of that 
mother. He thought how that he had lived on her estate, 
had been, as it were, her pensioner. He thought also of 
the efforts she had made, efforts he had perceived, to ac 
commodate herself to him, to meet his humour, to over 
come her own gloom, to struggle against the bad habits of 



UR1TI1: A TALE Off DARTMOOR. 2T3 

slovenliness into which the household had fallen, and to 
correct her own want of order, because she saw it pained 
her husband. She had done a great deal for him, and 
what had he done for her? Grumbled, been peevish, dis 
appointed her. He recalled that evening at the Cakes, 
where he had slighted her. He thought of how he had 
trifled with his old regard for Julian, allowed her to lure 
him away from his wife, and had let her see that he was no 
more at one with Urith, and that he wished he could have 
undone the marriage and re-tied the old threads that had 
bound him to Julian. She this Julian, had been playing 
with him she, for her own ends, had been making mis 
chief between him and his wife and what had he done ? 

His eyes were opened, and he saw the initials on the 
glass, au'd the love-knot between them. 

With the blood surging to his brow and cheeks, and a 
fire in his eye, he raised his hand, and angrily brushed 
his palm over the three panes, effacing utterly the charac 
ters there inscribed, then he remained with uplifted hand 
and forefinger extended, still, as in dream, unconscious 
that he was being watched. 

A new thought had occurred to him that he was about 
to become a father. 

A father ! and he away at Hall, while the deserted 
Urith sat at Willsworthy wan, with tears on her cheek, 
drip, drip, over the cradle he had treated so insultingly 
her cradle, which he had deemed unworthy of his child, 
and which, for all that, with his child in it, he was in 
clined to abandon ! 

Then the blood went out of Anthony's face, went back 
to his heart, as he grew pale and still with the thought of 
the infamy of the conduct that had been his, had he yielded 
to the temptation. 

And tears, tears of shame at himself, of love for Urith, 
of infinite longing for that little child that was to be his, 
and to nestle in his arms, filled his throat and choked 
him. "With a trembling finger on another clouded pane 
he drew an U and interlaced with it an A, twisting and 
turning the initials about, weaving them inextricably to 
gether, till the U was lost in the A, and the A confounded 
with the U. 

He could not speak. He did not look round. With hia 



274 VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

eyes fixed before him, and his mind full of the thoughts 
that opened to him, he went out of the room, out of the 
house, and spoke to no one. 

But old Anthony and Julian knew his decision knew 
it from his finger-writing on the little diamond pane. 

Yet the old man would not accept it he called after his 
son. 

" I give thee three days. I will do no more for three 
days in the matter." 

But Anthony did not turn his head or answer. 



CHAPTER XXXVHL 

ON THE ROAD. 

Fox Crymes walked on toward Hall with Bessie. He 
could not well leave her to take the rest of her course 
alone, after the old man, her father, had ridden past, for 
getting her, and leaving her to make her way home with 
out him. They therefore walked on together, speaking at 
intervals and disconnectedly to each other. Bessie feeling 
the irksomeness of her position, and he unwilling further 
to jeopardize his suit by pressing it on her any more. He 
had said what was sufficient and he left the father to use 
pressure to force her to comply with his wishes. 

The two had not, however, proceeded more than a mile 
before they saw Squire Clevei'don riding back to meet 
them. He had recalled his promise before he reached 
home, and then remembered having passed two persons 
whom he did not particularly observe, but whom he con 
cluded were his daughter and Fox. 

The first impression he had received from Anthony's 
conduct was that he put the offer from him altogether ; 
and yet, on further consideration, he persuaded himself 
that he had been mistaken. Had Anthony finally decided 
to reject his offer, why had he not said so in words ? The 
old man's nature was coarse he could not understand the 
struggles of a generous mind and resistance to mean mo 
tives. Anthony had not spoken, because he did not choose 
to speak before Julian, because he thought it seemly to , 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 275 

affect difficulty of persuasion, because he wanted time in 
which to consider it, because because the father could 
find many reasons why Anthony should not immediately 
close with the proposal. 

The more the old Squire turned the matter over, the 
more obvious it became to him that Anthony would do as 
he wished. It was inconceivable to him that he should 
persist in a course of opposition to his best interests. The 
boy was proud ; but he had learned, by sore experience, 
that pride brought to misery. He had tried his strength 
against his father's had shown what he could do ; and 
now, if he gave way, he was not humiliated. Why, in the 
Civil Wars, when Salcombe Castle was held by Sir Edmund 
Fortescue for five months against the Koundheads, and 
held after every other fort in the country had been taken 
or had surrendered ; and then, when starved into yielding, 
it was on the most honourable terms, and Sir Edmund 
marched forth with all the honours of war, bearing away 
with him the key of the castle he had so gallantly defended. 
Tliis was no disgrace to him, it was a proud act of which 
all Devon men would speak with elation. Why then should 
not Anthony surrender ? He should march forth with flying 
colours, and it would be no blow to his self-respect, no jar to 
his pride. The old man, having worked himself into the 
conviction that his case was won, was full of elation, and, 
with the petty spite of a mean mind, he resolved at once to 
show Fox he had no longer need of him. Then it was 
that he remembered that Fox and Bessie were to walk 
towards Hall till he caught them up, and he turned his 
horse's head and rode back till he met them. 

" Heigh, there ! " shouted the old man ; " how goes the 
suit, Tony Cry mes ? Hast thou won her consent ? " He 
paused for an answer. 

" Her mother brought her naught, " he continued, when 
Fox remained silent, not well knowing what answer to make. 

"That I know," said Fox; "but he who wins Bessie 
Cleverdon wins a treasure." 

" I am glad thou thinkest so. I hope that will satisfy 
thee. Come, Tony, lend a hand to the maid's foot, and 
help her up on the pillion behind me." 

Fox obeyed ; the dirty road had soiled Bessie's boot so 
that he could not preserve a clean hand. 



276 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"Find her heavy, eh?" asked the Squire, in a mocking 
tone. 

"Much gold and many acres stick to thy hand when 
thou puttest it forth to her, eh ? " 

Fox looked questioningly at the old man. His tone 
was changed. 

"Bessie will bring luck that will adhere to whatever 
hand holds her, " said the young man. 

"No doubt no doubt," said the Squire. "You may 
walk at our side, and I will have a word with thee. Come 
on to Hall if it give thee pleasure. The road is well known 
to thee, thou hast trod it many a time of late. I doubt 
but soon thou thinkest to set up thy home there, and not 
to have to run to and fro as heretofore. " 

Fox looked again inquiringly and uneasily at the old 
man. He did not understand this new style of banter. 

"Thou hast helped Bessie now into pillion, and I sup 
pose tbou art reckoning on the stuffing of the pad on to 
which thou thinkest her hand will help thee up, eh ? " 

Fox, usually ready with a word, was uncertain how to 
meet these sallies, and still remained silent. 

The old man rode on, casting an occasional glance, -full 
of cyninism, at young Crymes, who walked at the side of 
the horse. 

Fox would not return till he was enlightened on this 
change in his manner ; nor would he say much, resolving 
on silence as the best method of forcing old Cleverdon to 
show what was in his mind. 

" What dost say to Anthony coming home ? " asked the 
Squire of his daughter, turning his head over his shoulder. 

" Anthony is he really coming to Hall? " gasped Bessie, 
her heart leaping with gladness. 

"It will be a pleasure to thee to be able to retain the 
name of Crymes," sneered the Squire, turning to the 
walker. " A fine, ancient, gentle name ; thou did st doubt 
about exchanging it for one less venerable that of Clever 
don, though of better sound, and the name that goes up, 
whilst Cryraes goes down ? " 

Anthony Cryraes's colour changed ; " I do not under 
stand what you aim at," he said, in uncertain tone. 

" Nay, there is naught hard to be understood in what 
I say. If Anthony should come back to me, then there 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 277 

will be no need for Tony Crj'mes to. spend some forty 
guineas to obtain license to call himself Cleverdon." 

" Then Anthony is coming back ! Oh, father ! " exclaimed 
Bessie, "this is glad tidings." She disregarded all his 
hints and allusions to her marriage with Fox. 

"This it is you, Bess, say you are pleased to hear it, 
and I am very sure it will delight Tony Crymes. This it 
is my Anthony has had the offer made him by me that he 
shall return to Hall, and all be forgiven and forgot that 
was between us. " 

" Oh, father, and you will receive Urith ! " 

"Not so fast, Bess. Anthony comes back, but never, 
never, will I suffer that hussy to cross my threshold. I 
swore that when he married her, and I will not go from my 
oath. No Anthony returns, but not with that creature 
that beggar wench. He comes himself. He comes alone. " 

"He cannot, father ; he cannot she is his wife." 

" She is, as his madness made it to be she is his wife. 
But he is tired of the folly ; he repents it. He will be glad 
to be quit of her. He comes back to me, and she remains 
in her beggary at Willsworthy." 

" Never, father ! never. Anthony could not have agreed 
to that." 

" I tell thee he did ; that is, he has almost agreed to it. 
He did not close with the offer I made at once,, but, for 
appearance sake, made some difficulty yet only for ap 
pearance sake. I have given him three days, and in that 
time he will have let the matter be noised abroad, have 
broken his intention to the girl, and have made himself 
ready to return to me." 

" Father ! " said Bessie, in a voice choked with agitation, 
"I can never regard never think of Anthony again, in the 
old way, if he do this. He must not leave his wife. He 
swore before God to hold to her in poverty or in wealth 
till death, and thou wilt make him forswear himself ? " 

" His first duty he owes to me nay, he owes it to him 
self, to return from the evil ways in which he has gone. 
Heaven set him in Hall, and he went against Heaven when 
he left it ; now he is the prodigal that has been among 
swine, but comes back to his father. That is Scripture 
that is the Word of God, and stands before all foolish 
words said, in oath, without weighing what they meant." 



278 URIT1I: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Fox Cry in es caught the bridle, and stayed the horse. 

" Is this jest, or is it earnest ? " he asked, huskily. 

"It is most serious and solemn earnest," answered the 
Squire. 

"Then I insist on a word with thee, and I will hold the 
bridle till thou dismount. I will not let thee go on till I 
have spoken alone with thee. Let Bessie go forward, we 
must say somewhat together." 

Squire Cleverdou had no whip, but he struck spurs into 
the flanks of his horse ; but Fox held the rein, and, though 
the beast plunged and kicked out, he would not let it 
break away. Bessie was almost thrown off, and in her 
danger threatened to drag her father with her. 

" Nay, thou shalt not escape me," said Fox. " Dismount, 
Master Cleverdon, and tell me plainly what this new mat 
ter is between thee and thy graceless fool of a son, or I 
will make the horse fling thee into the mud, and perhaps 
break thy neck." 

The old man thought best to comply, and, growling, 
he dismounted. Then Fox let go his hold of the rein, and 
bade Bessie ride forward beyond earshot. 

"What is the meaning of this?" asked Fox, who WHS 
livid with rage and mortification, so livid, that the freckles 
on his face stood out as black spots on the hide of a coach- 
dog. " It is ill to trifle with me. You arranged all with 
me. I was to have your daughter, and succeed to Hall, 
I was to take your name, and step into all the rights for 
feited by Anthony. You brought me face to face with 
Bessie at her aunt's, and then sent me walking back to 
ward Hull with her, to press my case. When all 'is nearly 
over, then you turn round, cast me over, and reinstate that 
son who has maltreated and half-blinded me, and make a 
mock of me for my pains ? " 

"It is you who have trifled with me," retorted the 
Squire, with less heat, but more bitterness. " You told me 
that you would urge my suit with your sister ; you brought 
me weekly accounts of how she was becoming more dis 
posed to think of me, you flattered and encouraged me, 
and all the while you knew " 

"I knew what? I knew nothing, save that you are 
old, and she young." 

"That is not it," said the Squire, peevishly, "that is 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 279 

not what I refer to. You knew that she was encourag 
ing my son, and that the old attachment that subsisted 
before this hateful affair with Urith Mai vine had reasserted 
itself." 

"It is false," answered Fox, furiously, "not content 
with making your sport with me, you insult my sister." 

" I suppose you will not dispute the testimony of my 
own eyes," sneered old Cleverdon. 

" And to what do they bear testimony ? " 

" To what I said. I entered the parlour where they 
were, she standing over him, at the window ; he seated, 
with his arms thrown about her neck, kissing her, and 
above them on the glass, scrawled by his finger, their 
initials woven together, with a true lover's knot." 

Fox glared at him, in speechless wrath. 

" Now what say you to that ? " asked the old man. 
"With such proceedings, allowed, connived at in your 
house, I am to be lured on to offer myself to your precious 
sister, and then to be laughed at, and scouted for my folly 
a folly into which you wei'e drawing me." 

" It is false " that was all Fox could say, so disconcert 
ed, so choked was he with rage. 

" It is not false. I have but just come from your house, 
and saw that, and because I saw it, I made overtures to 
Anthony to return. It was clear to me that all the fever * 
of fancy for that hussy at Willsworthy was dead as ashes. 
That the reputation of Julian will need looking to, should 
he return to me, and be separate from Urith, is naught to 
me." 

" He has enough to answer to me without this," gasped 
Fox. Then, by aii effort, he steadied his voice and resumed 
his usual manner. "Now," said he, "let us have all 
brought into measure and rhyme between us. You tell me 
that Anthony comes back to Hall and abandons his wife." 

"Aye ! That is my offer to him. Let him leave Wills- 
worthy and return to me, and all shall be forgiven. 'Tis a 
misfortune that he cannot be rid of his wife, but the tie by 
law alone will remain. She shall never be mentioned be 
tween us." 

" And he agrees to this ? " 

" I have granted him three days to consider. In three 
days he gives me his answer, but who can doubt what that 



280 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

answer will be ? Is he not wearied with his toy ? Has 
he had good cheer at Willsworthy ? Has he aught there 
now to retain him ? " 

" And what about Bessie ? " 

" Oh ! you are welcome to her, as I said before ; but after 
my death Hall will go to Anthony, only the reversion to 
thee and any child thou hast by Bess. Should my Anthony 
survive Urith and marry again, then to his son by his sec 
ond wife, never that I have ever maintained never to any 
child of his by Urith Malviue." 

Fox laughed contemptuously. 

"A poor prospect for Bess and her husband." 

" A poor prospect, mayhap, but the only one on which 
they can look through their windows when they set up 
house together." 

"And what allowance will you make Bessie when she 
marries ? " 

"But a trifle I cannot more." 

" So her husband and she are to live on the expectation 
of succession should they survive Anthony, and should 
Anthony not be remarried." 

1 That is all" 

' But what if Anthony refuses your offer ? " 

'Then all remains aa before. He will not refuse." 

'I will hear that from his own mouth. Where is he?" 

' I did not overtake him on the road. He had not yet 
left the town. I doubt not he has gone to his Aunt Mag 
dalen." 

" One word more. Hold up your hand to Heaven and 
swear that he dared dared to put his arms round and kiss 
my sister ! He he Anthony Cleverdon ! " 

" I will do it 1 It is true ! " 

Fox remained in the midst of the road, and his hand con 
vulsively caught and played with his hunting-knife that 
hung to his belt His red, thick brows were knitted. 

As old Cleverdon looked at his mottled face, he allowed 
to himself that Bess would have bad taste to choose such 
an one wittingly ; and that, unwilling, it would take some 
compulsion to drive her to accept him. 

" And, if Anthony does not come within three days, all 
remains us heretofore? " again asked Fox, looking furtively 
up at the father, and then letting his eyes fall again. 



*URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 281 

" Yes, all as heretofore. Should he dare to disappoint 
me in this, not a thread from my coat, nor a grass-blade 
from my land, shall fall to him." 

Fox waved his hand, " That will do," he said, and 
turned away. . 

He was at the junction of the road or track that led from 
Wills worthy with the rnaiu highway along which Squire 
Cleverdon had been riding. He remained at this point, 
waiting till the old man had remounted, and had trotted 
away, with Bessie behind him. There he stood, still play 
ing with the handle of his hunting-knife, his red, lowering 
brows contracted over his small eyes, watching till the 
riders disappeared over the hill. Then he turned along the 
track-way thnt led to Willsworthy, with his head down 
against the drizzling rain, which had come on again, after 
having ceased for an hour ; which came on again thick, 
blotting out the scenery all prospect within a hundred 
feet as effectually as though veils of white gauze had been 
let down out of the heavens, one behind another. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

TWO PARTS OF A TOKEN. 

Anthony had, as his father surmised, gone to see his 
Aunt Magdalen. His heart was soft within him softened 
at the sense of his own unworthiuess, and with the return 
flow of his old love to Urith. And as he did not desire at 
once to go back to Willsworthy, and at the same time re 
membered that some time had elapsed since he had seen 
his aunt, he went to her house. There he found his grand 
mother, Mistress Peuwarne. Some of the bitterness of 
the old woman seemed to be rubbed away. Perhaps daily 
association with the gentleness of Luke Cleverdon had done 
this. 

She was in tears when Anthony entered. Magdalen had 
been talking with her over the plan mapped out for Bessie, 
to the complete, final exclusion of Anthony from return to 
his father's house. 

'.'Now now does the righteous God pay back to old 



282 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Anthony Cleverdon all the wrong he did my daughter," 
she said. " See drop for drop of pall. Where there fell 
one on my child's heart, his own sou spirts a drop on to 
his father's heart. There is retribution in this world." 

"Oh, Mistress Penwarne," remonstrates Magdalen. 
"Ho\v can you take delight in this? " 

" I delight only in seeing justice done," answered the 
old woman. " You hold with your brother naturally to 
some extent ; but you never loved my daughter. You never 
showed her kindness " 

"Indeed, now," interrupted Magdalen, "there you do me 
a wrong. Ifr was Margaret who would not suffer me to 
enter the house and be of any consequence inure in Hall, 
who withstood me when I would draw near to my brother." 

"She had no power to withstand any one. That you 
know full well. She weighed naught with her husband. 
But let that be. If you sinned against her, God is bringing 
the whip down on your shoulders as well, for I know that 
what is now falling out is to you great pain and affliction." 

"That it is indeed," sighed Magdalen. 

" Anthony is used by the hand of Providence as its rod 
with the father ; Heaven rewards on the proud Squire of 
Hall every heartache, every humiliation to which he sub 
jected my child. You know not how I have prayed that I 
might be suffered to see the day when the rod should fall 
and beat and bruise the back of the offender." 

" You do not reckon," said Magdalen, " that the chief 
suffering falls, not on my brother, but on your daughter's 
son. Is not Anthony the very image of his mother f Has 
he not her eyes and hair all the upper part of his coun 
tenance ? Does not her blood run in his veins ? You have 
desired revenge on my brother, and you have got it through 
the breaking to pieces of your own grandson." 

Mistress Penwarne was silent. It was as Magdalen said. 

" Yes, and whom does Bessie resemble most ? She has 
none of the handsomeness of your Margaret. It is true that 
she is her child, but she has inherited the plain homeliness 
of the Cleverdons. Look at yonder picture over the mantel 
shelf. That was drawn of me when about her age. Does 
she not so resemble me at that time that you would say she 
had taken nothing of the Penwarnes, that she WHS altogether 
and only Cleverdon? Yet to her will come Hall. She will 



TJRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 283 

be mistress there, and to her child it will descend, to the 
utter exclusion of Anthony. Nay, I cannot think that the 
judgment of God, to which thou appealest ever, is falliug 
all to thy side in its weighted scale." 

The old woman was about to answer when Anthony en 
tered. He was pale, and his pallor reminded her of her 
daughter as the wan picture recalled Bessie. Mrs. Pen- 
warne rose from her chair and stepped up to him, took 
him by both his hands, and looked him steadily in the face. 
As she did so great tears formed in her eyes and rolled 
down her wrinkled cheeks. 

" Ah ! " said she, seeing in him her dead daughter, and 
her voice quivered, " how hardly did the Master of Hall 
treat her, but Magdalen aye, and Bessie know that bet 
ter than thou. He was rough and cruel, and now thou 
hast felt what his roughness and cruelty be now thou 
canst understand how he behaved to thy poor mother ; but 
thou art a man and able to go where thou wilt, fight thine 
own way through the world, carve for thyself thine own 
future. It was not so with my poor Margaret. She was 
linked to him she could not escape, and he used his 
strength and authority and wealth to beat and to torment 
and break her. And Margaret had a spirit. Have you 
seen how a little dog is mended of lamb worrying? It is 
attached to an old ram linked to it past escape, and at 
every moment the ram lets drive at the little creature with 
his horns, gets him under his feet and tramples him, 
kneels on him and kneads him with his knees, ripping at 
him all the while with his horns. Then, finally, the little 
dog is detached and taken away, covered with wounds and 
bruises, before the ram kills it. It was so with my Mar 
garet, but she was no lamb-killer only had a high spirit 
and she was tied to that man, your father. He rent her 
away from Richard Hal vine, whom she loved, just because 
it was his pleasure, and he broke her heart. Look here." 

The old grandmother drew from her bosom a token, a 
silver crown- piece of Charles I., on which the Iviug was 
figured mounted on horseback ; but the coin was broken, 
and to her neck hung but one half. 

"Look at this," said Mrs. Penwarne. " Here is the half- 
token that Richard Mai vine gave to my daughter, and the 
other half he kept himself. That was the pledge that they 



284 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

belonged to each other. Yet Anthony Cleverdon of Hall 
would not have it so. He took her away, and on her mar 
riage d;iy she gave me the broken half-token. She had no 
right to retain that ; but with her broken heart she could 
not part so readily. As if it were not enough that he had 
torn her away from the man she loved, your father left 
not a day to pass without ill-treating her in some way. He 
was jealous, because he thought her heart still hung to 
Richard Malvine ; though, as God in heaven knows, she 
never failed in her duty to him, and strove faithfully to 
cast out from her heart every thought of the man she had 
loved, and to whom the Squire of Hall had made her un 
faithful. As he could not win her love, he sought to crush 
her by ill-treatment. Now, O my Lord ! how it must re 
joice my poor Margaret, and Richard also, in Paradise, to 
think that their children should come together and be one 
be one as they themselves never could be." 

She ceased and sobbed. Then with shaking hands, she 
put the ribbon to which the broken token depended round 
Anthony's neck. 

"Take this," she said. "I never thought to part with 
it ; but it of right belongs now to thee. Take it as a 
pledge of thy mother's love, that her broken heart goes 
with thee to Willsworthy, and finds its rest there ; and with 
it take my blessing." 

Anthony bowed his head, and looked at the silver coin, 
rubbed very much, and placed it on his breast, inside his 
coat. 

" Thank thee, grand mother," he said. " I will cherish 
it as a remembrance of my mother." 

" And tell me," said she, " is it so, that thou art forever 
driven away from Hall, that thy father will take thy name, 
even, and give it to nnother, and that thou and thy chil 
dren are forever to be shut off and cast away from all lot 
and inheritance in the place where thy forefathers have 
been ? " 

" It is even so," answered Anthony. " But hark ! " 

A horn was being blown in the street, and there was a 
tramp of running feet, and voices many in excitement. 

"What can be the mutter?" exclaimed Magdalen, go 
ing to the window. " Mercy on us ! What must have 
taken place ? " 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 285 

Anthony ran out of the house. The street had filled ; 
there were people of all sorts coming out of their houses, 
asking news, pressing inward toward the man with the 
horn. Anthony elbowed his way through the throng. 

" What is this about ? " he inquired of a man he knew. 

" The Duke of Moumouth has landed at Lyine in Doi-- 
setshire. Hey ! wave your hat for Protestantism ! "Who'll 
draw the sword against Popery and Jesuitism ? " 

More news was not to be got. The substance of the 
tidings that had just come in was contained in the few 
words the Duke has landed at Lyme ; with how many 
men was not known. What reception he had met with 
was as yet unknown. No one could say whether the coun 
try gentry had rallied to him whether the militia which 
had been called out in expectation of his arrival had de 
serted to his standard. 

Anthony remained some time in the street and market 
place discussing the news. His spirits rose, his heart beat 
high ; he longed to fly to Lyme, and offer himself to the 
Duke. His excitement over, the tidings dispelled his con 
cern about his own future and gloomy thoughts about his 
troubled home. In that home there was at the time much 
unrest. After he had departed from Willsworthy, Uncle 
Sol Gibbs had burst into laughter. 

" Ah, Urith ! " said he, " I hope, maid, thy hand is not 
hurt. It was not a fair hit. The lad was nettled ; he 
thought himself first in everything, and all at once discov 
ered that an old fool like me, with one hand behind my 
back, could beat him at every point. Your young cocker- 
ells think that because they crow loud they are masters in 
the cockpit. It disconcerts them to find themselves 
worsted by such as they have despised. There, I shall 
bear him no grudge. I forgive him, and he will be ashamed 
of himself ere ten minutes are past in which his blood has 
cooled. None of us are masters of ourselves when the 
juices are in ferment." 

He took his niece's hand and looked at the palm ; it was 
darkened across it, by the stroke of the stick. 

" So ! he has bruised thee, Urith ! That would have 
cracked my old skull had it fallen athwart it, by heaven ! 
Never mind, I kiss thee, wench, for having saved me, and I 
forgive him for thy sake. Look here, Urith, don't thou go 



286 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

taking it into thy noddle that all married folks agree like 
turtle-doves. Did'st ever hear me sing the song about 
Trinity Sunday ? 

When bites the frost and winds are a blowing, 

I do not heed and I do not care. 
When 'Tony's by me- why let it be snowing, 

Tis summer time with me all the year. 
The icicles they may hang on the fountain, 

And frozen over the farmyard pool, 
The east wind whistle upon the mountain, 

No wintry gusts our love will cool. 

That is courtship, Urith summer in the midst of winter. 
Now listen to matrimony what that is : 

I shall be wed a' Trinity Sunday, 

And then adieu to my holiday ! 
Come frost, come snow on Trinity Monday, 

Why then bfgiuneth my winter day. 
If drudge and smudge on Trinity Monday, 

If wind and weather I do no't care ! 
If winter follows Trinity Sunday, 

It can't be summer time all the year. 

That's the proper way to regard it. After marriage storms 
always come ; after matrimony nipping frosts and wintry 
gales. It can't be summer-time all the year. Now just 
see," continued Uncle Sol, climbing upon the table and 
seating himself thereon, and then fumbling in his pocket. 
" Dos't fancy it was ever summer-time with thy father and 
mother after they were wed ? Not n bit, wench not a' bit. 
They had their quarrels. I don't say that they were 
exactly of the same sort as be yours, but they were eveiy 
whit as bad aye ! and worse, and all about this." He 
opened his hand and showed a broken silver crown piece 
of Charles I , perforated, and with a ribbon holding it. 
"I'll tell thee all about it. Afore thy father was like to be 
married to my sister, he was mighty taken in love with 
someone else. Well, Urith, I won't conceal it from thee 
it was with Margaret Penwarne, that afterward married 
old Squire Cleverdon, and became the mother of thy An 
thony. Everyone said they would make a pair, but he was 
poor and she had naught, and none can build their nest 
out of love ; so it was put off. But I suppose they had 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 287 

passed their word to each other, and in token of good faith 
had broken a silver crown and parted it between them. 
This half," said Uncle Sol, " belonged to thy father. Well, 
I reckon he ought, when he married thy mother, to have 
put away from his thoughts the very memory of Margaret 
Cleverdon. I could not see into his heart I cannot say 
what was there. Maybe he had ceased to think of her 
after she was wed to Anthony Cleverdon, and he had taken 
thy mother ; maybe he had not. All men have their little 
failings some one way, some another. Mine is well, you 
know it, niece, so let it pass. I hurt none but myself. But 
thy father never parted with the broken half-token, but 
would keep it. Many words passed between them over it, 
and the more angry thy mother was, the more obstinate 
became thy father. One day they were terrible bad a 
regular storm it was, Urith. Then I took down my single 
stick, and I went up to Richard, and said I to him, ' Dick, 
thou art in the wrong. Give me up the half-token, or, by 
the Lord, I'll lay thy head open for thee ! ' He knew me, 
and that I was a man of my word. He considered a mo 
ment, and then he put it into my hand on one condition, 
that I should never give it to my sister. I swore to that, 
and we shook hands, and so peace was made for the time. 

There " said the old man, descending from the table. 

" I will give thee the half-token, maid, for my oath does 
not hold me now. Thine it shall be ; and when thou wear- 
est it, or holdest it, think on this that there is no married 
life without storms and vexations, and that the only way 
in which peace is to be gotten is for the one in the wrong 
to give up to the other." 

He put the half-token into Urith's hand. 

She received it without a word, and held it in her 
bruised palm. Her face was lowering, and she mused, 
looking at the coin. 

Yes, he who is in the wrong must abandon his wrongful 
way give up what offended the other. What had she to 
yield ? Nothing. She had done her utmost to retain An 
thony's love. She had not been false to -him by a mo 
ment's thought. She had striven against her own nature 
to fit herself to be his companion. She loved him she 
loved him with her whole soul ; and yet she hated him 
hated him because he had slighted and neglected her at 



288 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

the Cakes, because he was suffering himself to be lured 
from her by Julian, because he was dissatisfied with his 
house, resented agaiust her his quarrel with his father. 
She could hardly discriminate between her love and her 
hate. One merged into the other, or grew out of the other. 

"Come ! " said the old man, looking about for his hat. 
" By the Lord ! the boy has gone off with my wet cap. 
Well, I shall wear his, I cannot tarry here. I will go seek 
out my friend Cudlip at the Hare and Hounds. I shall 
not be late, but I want to hear news. There is a wind that 
the Duke of Monmouth has set sail from the Lowlands. The 
militia have been called out and the trainbands gathered. 
Come, Urith, do not look so grave. Brighten up with 
some of the humours of the maid who sang of winter on 
Trinity Monday. It cannot be summer-time all the year 
why, neither can it be winter." 

Then he swung out of the house trolling : 

So let not this pair be despised, 

That man is but part of himself ; 
A man without woman's a beggar, 

If he have the whole world full of wealth, 
A man without woman's a beggar, 

Tho' he of the world were possessed, 
But a beggar that has a good woman, 

With more than the world is he blessed. 



CHAPTER XL. 

"THIS FOR JULIAN." 

Urith was left alone looking at the broken token. It did 
not bring to her the cynical consolation that her uncle in 
tended it to convey. It was not even poor comfort, it was 
no sort of comfort whatever to learn that others had been 
unhappy in the same way as herself that there had been 
discord between her father and mother. The broken token 
was to her a token of universal breakage of broken trust, 
broken ambitions, broken words, broken hearts but that 
all the world was in wreck was no relief to Urith, whose 
only world for which she cared was contained within the 
bounds of "Willsworthy. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 289 

She had dreamed with reverence of her father; but 
Uncle Sol had shown her thatthis father had been false in 
heart to her mother. Her own story was that of her 
mother. Each had married one whose heart had been pre- 
engaged. After a little while, no doubt of sincere struggle, 
the heart swung back to its eldest allegiance. As Urith 
sat in the hall window, looking out into the court, her eyes 
rested on the vane over the stables. Now that arrow 
pointed to the west ! Sometimes it veered to other quar 
ters, but the prevailing winds came from the Atlantic, and 
that vane, though for a few days it may have swerved to 
north or south, though for a whole month, nay a whole 
spring it may have pointed east, as though nailed in that 
aspect, yet round it swung eventually, and for the rest of 
the year hardly deviated from west. So was it with the 
heart of Anthony ; so had it been with the heart of her 
father. Each had had a first love ; then there had come a 
sway towards another point, and eventually a swing round 
into the direction that had become habitual. 

Fox's words at the dance in the house of the Cakes re 
turned to her : " You cannot root out old love with a 
word." With Anthony it had been old love. Since child 
hood he and Julian had known each other, and had looked 
on each other in the light of lovers. It was a love that had 
ramified in its roots throughout his heart and mind. It 
was with this love as with the coltsfoot in the fields. When 
once the weed was there, it was impossible to eradicate it ; 
the spade that cut it, the pick that tore it up, the sickle 
that reaped it down, only multiplied it ; every severed fibre 
became a fresh plant every lopped head seeded on the 
ground and dispersed its grain. For a while a crop of 
barley or oats appeared, and the coltsfoot was lost in the 
upright growth ; but the crop was cut and carried, and the 
coltsfoot remained. 

Was this a justification for Anthony? Urith did not 
stay to inquire. She considered herself, her anguish of 
disappointment, her despair of the future not him. With 
all the freshness and vehemence of youth, she had given 
herself wholly to Anthony. She had loved cared for no 
one before ; and when she loved and cared for him it was 
with a completeness to which nothing lacked. Hers was a 
love infinite as the ocean, and now she found that his had 



290 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

been but a love, in comparison with hers, like a puddle that 
is dried up by the July sun. * 

She did not consider the matter with regard to Anthony's 
justification, only as affecting herself as darkening her 
entire future. The coltsfoot must go on growing, and 
spread throughout the field. It could not be extirpated, 
only concealed for a while. She could never look into 
Anthony's face never kiss him again, never endure a word 
of love from him any more, because of that hateful, hide 
ous, ever-spreading, all-absorbing, only temporarily-cover- 
able weed of first love for Julian. An indescribable horror 
of the future filled her an inexpressible agony contracted 
her heart as with a cramp. She threw up her hands and 
clutched in the air at nothing ; she gasped for breath as 
one drowning, but could inhale nothing contenting. Every 
thing was gone from her with Anthony, not only every 
thing that made life happy, but endurable. Down the 
stream belonging to the manor was a little mill, furnished 
with small grinding-stones, and a wheel that ever turned 
in the stream that shot over it. No miller lived at the 
mill. When rye, barley, or wheat had to be ground, some 
person from the house went down, set the mill, and poured 
in the grain. Night and day the wheel went round, and 
now in her brain was set up some such a mill there was a 
\vhirl within, and a noise in her ears. The little manor- 
mill could be unset, so that, though the wheel turned, the 
stones did not grind unless needed ; but to this inner mill 
in her head there was no relaxation. It would, grind, grind 
as long as the stream of life ran grind her heart, grind up 
her trust, her hopes, her love, her faith in God, her belief 
in men grind up all that was gentle in her nature, till it 
ground all her nobler nature up into an arid dust. 

The day declined, and she was still looking at the brok 
en token. 

The mill was grinding, and was turning out horrible 
thoughts of jealousy, it ground her love and poured forth 
hate, it ground up confidence and sent out suspicion. She 
sprang to her feet. Where was Anthony now ? What was 
he doing all this while ? He had been away a long time ; 
with whom had he been tarrying ? 

The mill was grinding, and now, as she threw in the 
jealous thoughts, the hate, the suspicious, it had just turned 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 291 

out, it ground them over again, and sent forth a wondrous 
series of fancies in a magic dust that filled her eyes and 
ears ; in her eyes it made her see Anthony in Julian's so 
ciety, in her ears it made her hear what they said to each 
other. The dust fell into her blood, and made it boil and 
rage ; it fell on her brain, and there it caught fire and 
spluttered. She was as one mad in her agony so mad 
that she caught at the stanchions of the window and strove 
to tear them out of the solid granite in which they were 
set, not that she desired to burst through the window, but 
that she must tear at and break something. 

Why had Anthony marred her life, blistered her soul ? 
She had started from girlhood in simplicity, prepared to be 
happy in a quiet way, rambling over the moors in a desul 
tory fashion, attending to the farm and garden and the 
poultry yard. She would have been content, if left alone, 
never to have seen a man. Her years would have slipped 
away free from any great sorrow, without any great cares. 
Willsworthy contented her where wants were few. She 
loved and was proud of the place ; but Anthony, since he 
had been there had found fault with it, had undervalued it, 
laughed at it ; had shown her how bleak it was, how un 
generous was the soil, how out of repair its buildings, how 
lacking in all advantages. 

Anthony had taught her to depreciate what she had 
highly esteemed. Why need he have done that? 

The wheel and the grindstones were turning, and out 
ran the bitter answer because Willsworthy was hers, that 
was why he scorned it, why he saw in it only faults. 

She paced the little hall, every now and then clasping 
her hands over her burning temples, pressing them in 
with all her force, as though by main strength to arrest 
the churn of those grindstones. Then she put them to her 
ears to shut out the sound of the revolving wheel. 

On the mantel-shelf was a brass pestle for crushing 
spices. She took it down. Into it wei-e stuffed the old 
gloves of Julian Crymes. It was a characteristic trait of 
the conduct of the house ; nothing was put where it ought 
to be, or might be expected to be. After these gloves had 
lain about, at one time in the window, at anotlaer on the 
settle, then upon the table, Urith had finally thrust them 
out of the way into the pestle, and there they had re- 



292 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

mained forgotten till now. In the train of her thoughts 
Urith was led to the challenge of Julian, when she recalled 
where the gloves were, and these she now took from the 
place to which she had consigned them. 

She unfolded them and shook the dust from them. 
Then she stood with one foot on the hearthstone, her 
burning head resting against the granite upper stone of 
the fireplace, looking at the gloves. Had Julian made good 
her threat? Was she really, deliberately, with determinate 
malice, winding Anthony off Urith's hand on to her own ? 
And if so to what would this lead ? How would she 
Urith be tortured between them ? Every hair of her head 
was a nerve, and each suffering pain. 

She lifted her brow from the granite, then dashed it 
back again, and felt no jar, so acute was the inner suffer 
ing she endured. It were better that Anthony, or she 
were dead. Such a condition of affairs as that of which 
the mill in her head ground out a picture, was worse than 
death. She could not endure it, she knew she must go 
mad with the torment. Oh, would ! oh would that Fox's 
fuse had been left to take its effect in the ear of Anthony's 
horse, and dash him to pieces against the rocks of the 
Walla ! 

She could no longer bear the confinement of the house. 
She gasped and her bosom laboured. She put the gloves 
between her teeth, and her hands again to her head, but 
her dark hair fell down about her shoulders. She did not 
heed it. Her mind was otherwise occupied. In a dim 
way she was aware of it, and her hands felt for her hair, 
how to bind it together and fasten it again, but her mind 
was elsewhere, and her fingers only dishevelled her hair 
the more. 

The air of the room oppressed her ; the walls contracted 
on her ; the ceiling came down like lead upon her brain. 
She plucked the gloves out of her mouth and threw them 
on the table, then went forth. 

The rain had ceased. Evening had set in, dark for 
June, because the twilight could not struggle through the 
dense vapours overhead. 

" Where is Anthony ? I must see Anthony ! " Her 
words were so hoarse, so strange that they startled her. 
It is said that when one is possessed, the evil spirit in the 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 293 

man speaks out of him in a strange voice, utterly unlike 
that which is natural. It might be so now. The old de 
mon in Urith that had gone to sleep was awaking, re 
freshed with slumber, to reassert his power. 

Where was Anthony ? What delayed his return ? Had he 
on leaving Willsworthy gone direct to Julian to pour out 
into her sympathetic ear the story of his domestic trou 
bles? Was he telling her of his wife's shortcomings? of 
her temper? her untidiness? her waywardness? Were 
they jeering together in confidence at poor little moorland 
Willsworthy? Were they talking over the great mistake 
Anthony had made in taking Urith in the place of Julian ? 
Were they laughing over that scene when Anthony led out 
Urith for the dance at the Cakes ? She saw their hands 
meet, and their eyes their eyes as at the Cakes. 

Then there issued from her breast a scream a scream 
of unendurable pain ; it came from her involuntarily ; it 
was forced from her by the stress of agony within, but the 
voice was hoarse and inhuman. She was aware of it, and 
grasped her hair and thrust it into her mouth to gnaw at, 
and to stifle the cries of pain which might burst from her 
again. 

She had descended the hill a little way when she thought 
she discerned a figure approaching, mounting the rough 
lane. It might be Anthony it might be Solomon Gibbs. 
She was unprepared to meet either, so she slipped aside 
into the little chapel. The portion of wall by the door was 
fallen, making a gap, but further back grew a large syca 
more, out of the floor of the sacred building, near the an 
gle formed by the south and west walls. Behind this she 
retreated, and thence could see the person who ascended 
the path, unobserved. 

She was startled when Fox Crymes stepped through the 
gap where had been the door. There was sufficient light 
for her to distinguish him, but he could not observe her, 
as the shadows thrown by the dense foliage of the syca 
more from above, and the side shadows from the walls, 
made the corner where Urith stood thoroughly obscure. 

She supposed at first that Fox had stopped there for a 
moment to shake out his wet cloak and readjust it; he 
did, in fact, rearrange the position of the mantle, but it 
was not so as more effectually to protect himself from rain 



294 URITIT: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

as to leave his right arm free. Moreover, after that he had 
fitted his cloak to suit his pleasure, he did not resume his 
ascent, of the lane to Wills worthy. 

For a while Urith's thoughts were turned into a new 
channel. She wondered, in the first place, why Fox 
should come to Willsvvorthy at that hour ; and next, why 
Fox, if Willsworthy should be his destination, halted 
where he was, without attempting to proceed. 

His conduct also perplexed her. He seated himself on 
a stone and whistled low to himself through a broken 
tooth in front that he had a whistle that was more of a 
hiss of defiance than a merry pipe. Then he took out his 
hunting-knife, and tried the point on his fingers. This 
did not perfectly satisfy him, and he whetted it on a piece 
of freestone moulding still in position, that formed a jamb 
of the old door, of which the arch and the other jamb were 
fallen. 

This occupied Fox for some time, but not continuously, 
for every now and then he stood up, stole to the lane, and 
cautiously peered down it, never exposing himself so as to 
be observed by any person ascending the rough way. 

The air was still, hardly any wind stirred, but what lit 
tle there was came in sudden puffs that shook the foliage 
of the sycamore burdened with wet, and sent down a 
shower upon the floor. Urith could not feel the wind, and 
when it came it was as though a shudder went through the 
tree, and it tossed off the burden of water oppressing it, 
much as would a long-haired spaniel on emerging from a 
bath. 

Bats were abroad. One swept up and down the old 
chapel, noiseless, till it came close to the ear, when the 
whirr of the wings was as that of the sails of a mill. 

An uneasy peewhit was awake and awing, flitting and 
uttering its plaintive, desolate cry. It was not visible in 
the grey night-sky, and was still for a minute ; then 
screamed over the ruins ; then wheeled away, and called, 
as an echo from a distance, an answer to its own cry. 

Fox stood forward again in the road, and strained his 
eyes down the lane ; then stole a little way along it to 
where he could, or thought he could, see a longer stretch 
of it ; then came back at a run, and stood snorting in the 
ruins once more. Again, soft and still, came on a com- 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 295 

minuted rain the very dust of rain so fine and so light 
that it took no direction, but floated on the air, and hardly 
fell. 

Fox turned to the sycamore-tree. No shelter could be 
had beneath its water-burdened leaves, that gathered the 
moisture and shot it down on the ground. But he did 
not look at it as wanting its shelter. He stepped toward 
it, then drew back ; exclaimed, " Ah ! Anthony. Here's 
one for Urith," and struck his knife into the bole. The 
blade glanced through the bark, sheering off a long strip, 
that rolled over and fell to the ground attached to the tree 
at the bottom. "You took her and Willsworthy from me," 
said Fox, drawing back. Then he aimed another .blow at 
the tree, cursing, " And here is for my eye ! " 

Urith started back ; each blow seemed to be aimed at 
and to hit her, who was behind the tree. She felt each 
stroke as a sharp spasm in her heart. 

Fox dragged at his knife, worked it up, down, till he 
had loosened it ; then withdrew it. Then he laid his left 
hand, muffled in his cloak, against the sycamore trunk, 
and raised his knife again. "That is not enough," he 
whispered, and it was to Urith as though he breathed it 
into her ear. He struck savagely into the side of the tree, 
as though into a man, under the ribs, and said, "And this 
for Julian." 

Before he could release his blade, Urith had stepped 
forth and had laid her hand on him. 

"Answer me," she said : "What do you mean by those 
words, ' And this for Julian ? '" 



CHAPTER XLI. 

"THAT FOK URITH." 



Fox cowered, and retreated step by step before Urith, 
who stepped forward at every step he retreated. He 
seemed to contract to a third of his size before her eyes, 
over which a lambent, phosphorescent fire played. They 
were fixed on his face ; he looked up but once, and then, 



296 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

scorched and withered, let his eyes fall, and did not again 
venture to meet hers. 

Her hands were on his shoulders. It might have been 
thought that she was driving him backward, but it was not 
so. He recoiled instinctively ; but for her hands he might 
have staggered and fallen among the scattered stones of 
the old chapel that strewed the floor. 

" Answer me ! " said Urith, again. " What did you 
mean, when you said ' This for Julian ? ' ' 

" What did I mean ? " he repeated, irresolutely. 

" Answer me what did you mean ? I can understand 
that in thought Anthony stood before you when you struck 
once because I had cast you over, and had taken him 
once because he touched and hurt your eye but why the 
third time for Julian ? " 

He lifted one shoulder after the other, squirming un 
easily under her hands, and did not reply, save with a 
scoffing snort through his nostrils. 

" I know that you are waiting here for Anthony and 
like yourself, waiting to deal a treacherous blow. It is 
not such as you who meet a foe face to face, after an open 
challenge, in a fair field." 

" An open challenge, in a fair field ! " echoed Fox, re 
covering some of his audacity, after the first shock of alarm 
at discovery had passed away. " Would that be a fair 
field iu which all the skill, all the strength is on one side ? 
An open challenge ! Did he challenge me when he struck 
me with the gloves in the face and hurt my eye ? No he 
never warned me, and why should I forewarn him ? " 

'' Come ! " said Urith, "go on before up to Wills- 
worthy ; I will not run the chance of being seen here talk 
ing with you, as if in secret. Go on I follow." 

She waved him imperiously forth, and he obeyed as a 
whipped cur, sneaked through the broken doorway forth 
into the lane. He looked down the road to see if Anthony 
were ascending, but saw no one. Then he turned his head 
to observe Urith, hastily sheathed his knife, and trudged 
forward in the direction required. 

Urith said nothing till the hall was entered, when she 
pointed to a seat, and went with a candlestick into the 
kitchen to obtain a light. She returned directly, having 
shut the doors between, so that no servant could overhear 



URITH: A TALE OF 1 DARTMOOR. 297 

what was said. The candlestick she placed on the table, 
and then planted herself opposite Fox Crymes. He was 
sitting with his back to the table, so that the light was off 
his face, and such as there was from a single candle fell on 
"(Jrith ; but he did not look up. His eyes were on the skirt 
of her dress and on her feet, and by them he could see 
that she was quivering with emotion. He seemed to see 
her through the flicker of hot air that rises from a kiln. 
He wiped his eyes, thinking that his sight was disturbed, 
but by a second look ascertained that the tremulous mo 
tion was in Urith. It was like the quiver of a butterfly's 
wings when fluttering at the window trying to escape. 

" I arn ready," said Urith. " What did you mean when 
you said ' This for Julian ? ' ' 

He half-lifted his cunning eyes, but let them fall again. 
He had recovered his assurance and decided on his 
course. 

" I suppose," sneered he, " that you will allow that I 
have a right to chastise the man who insults our good 
name, to bring my sister into the mouths of folk ? " 

" Has lie done so ? " 

"You ask that?" he laughed, mockingly. "How re* 
mote this spot must be to be where the breath of scandal 
does not blow. You ask that ? Why, 'fore heaven, I sup 
posed that jealousy quickened and sharpened ears, but 
yours must be singularly blunt, or, mayhap, deadened by 
indifference." 

"Tell me plainly what you have to say." 

" Do you not know that your Anthony was engaged, or 
all but engaged had been for some fifteen years to my 
sister ? Then he saw you under remarkable circumstances, 
saw and attended, you along the Lyke Way that night of 
the fire on the moor. Then a spark of the wild fire fell 
into his blood, and he forgot his old, established first love, 
and in a mad. humour took you. Take a scale," pursued 
Fox. " Put in one shell my sister with her wealth, her 
civilized beauty, her heritage, the grand old house of Kil- 
worthy, and her representation of a grand old line. Put 
in also " he suited the action to his word, in imaginary 
scales in the air before him, and saw the shrink of TJrith's 
feet at each item he named "put in also his father's 
favor, Hall where he was born and bred, the inheritance 



208 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

of his family for many generations, -with its associations,, 
his sister's company, the respect of his neighbours ; all that 
and more that I have not named into the one shell, and 
into the other. Come, come!" he crooked his finger, 
and made a sign with his knuckle, and a distorted face full 
of mockery and malice " come, skip in and sit yourself 
down with a couple of pauiers of peat earth, that grows 
only rushes. What say you? Do you outweigh Julian 
and all the rest ? And your peat earth, sour and barren, 
does that sink your scale heavier than all the bags of gold 
and rich warm soil of Kil worthy and Hall combined ? " 

He glanced upward hurriedly, to see what effect his 
words had. All this that he said* Urith had said it to her 
self ; but though the same thoughts uttered to herself cut 
her like razors, they were as razors dipped in poison, when 
coming articulate from the lips of Fox. 

" Do you not suppose," continued he, " that after the 
first fancy was over, Anthony wearied of you, and went 
back in heart out from this wilderness, back to Goshen 
and to the Land of Promise rolled into one, with the flesh- 
pots, and without hard labour ? Of course he did. He 
were a fool if he did not, or your hold over him must be 
magical indeed, and the value of Willsworthy altogether 
extraordinary." 

Again he furtively looked at her. Her eyes were off 
him, he felt it, before he saw it. She was looking down at 
the floor, and her teeth were fastened into her clenched 
hands. She was biting them to keep under the hysteric 
paroxysm that was coming over her. He took a malevo 
lent delight in lashing her to a frenzy with his cruel words, 
and so avenging himself on her for his rejection, avenging 
himself on her in the most terrible way possible, by mak 
ing her relations with her husband henceforth intolerable. 

She could no longer speak. He saw it, and he waited 
for no words. He went on : "You married him ; you 
married him, notwithstanding that he had ottered the 
grossest insult to the memory of your father. You mar 
ried him indecently early after your mother's death, and 
that was an outrage on her memory. Whether you have 
the blessing of father and mother on your union is more 
than doubtful. I should rather say that out of heaven they 
fling their united curses on you for what you have done." 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 299 

A hoarse sound issued from her throat. It was not a 
cry, nor a groan, but like the gasp of a dying person. 

" And now the curse is working. Of course Anthony is 
hungering after what he has thrown away. But he cannot 
get Kilworthy. You stand in the way. He can get Hall 
only by casting you over. That he will do." 

Suddenly Urith became rigid as stone. She could not 
speak, she dropped her hands, and looked with large fixed 
eyes at Fox. He saw, by the cessation of the quiver of her 
skirt, that she had become stiff as if dead. 

" That," repeated Fox, " he is prepared to do. His 
father made him the offer. If he would leave you, then, 
said the old Squire, all should be as before. Anthony 
should go back to Hall, live with his father, be treated as 
heir, and command his pocket only you were to be dis 
carded wholly, and he was not to see you again." 

Fox paused, and began his hissing whistle through his 
broken tooth. He waited to let the full force of his words 
fall on her to crush her, before he went on still further to 
maltreat her with words more terrible than blows of blud 
geons or stabs of poisoned knife. 

Now he twisted his belt round, and laid the scabbarded 
hunting knife before him on his lap, played with it, and 
then slowly drew forth the blade. 

" But now " he said leisurely, " now I reckon you can 
see why I took out my knife, and why I would strike him 
down before he leaves you and returns to HalL Already 
has there been talk concerning him and my sister. He 
gave rise to it at the dance at the Cakes. But you know 
better than I what happened there, as I went away with 
my father, who arrived from London. When young 
blood boils, it is forgotten that the sound of the bubbling 
is audible. When hearts flame, it is not remembered that 
they give out light and smoke. I suppose that Anthony 
and my sister forgot that they were in the midst of obser 
vant eyes when they met again, as of old so often ; just as 
they forgot that you existed and were a bar between them. 
I tell you I do not know what took place then, as I was not 
there, but you had eyes and could see, and may remember." 

He put the knife upright with the haft on his knee, and 
set his finger at the end of the blade, balancing it in that 
position. She saw it, her eyes were attracted by the 



300 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

blade ; the light of the caudle flashed on the polished 
steel ; then Fox turned the blade and the light went out, 
then again it flashed, as the surface again came round over 
against the candle. 

" When Anthony is back at Hall, I know well what will 
take place. Even now he conies over often to Kilworthy, 
too often, forgetful of you, forgetful of all save his old re 
gard, his love for Julian, that draws him there ; he cannot 
keep away even now. When he is at Hall nothing will 
retain him, and he will bring my sister's fair name into 
the dirt. Have I not a cause to take out this knife ? Must 
I not stand as her guardian ? My father is old, he has no 
thoughts for aught save the Protestant cause and Liberty 
and Parliamentary rights. He lets all go its own way, 
and, unless I were present to defend my sister, he would 
wake, rub his eyes, and find find that all the world was 
talking about the affairs of his house, and his grey hairs 
would be brought in shame to the grave. Julian has no 
mother, and has only me. She and I have bickered and 
fought, but I value the honour of my family, and for that 
I can, when need be, strike a blow. You know now what 
it is I fear ; you know what it is I meant when I took out 
my knife and waited in the chapel for the man who would 
bring my sister to dishonour. I could tell } T OU more I 
could tell you that which would make you kiss the blade 
that tapped his blood, that entered his false heart and let 
out the black falsity that is there, but He looked 
hesitatingly at her, then slowly rose, and, watching her, 
went backwards to the door. 

She stood motionless, white, as though frozen, and as 
still ; her hands were uplifted. She had been about to 
raise them to her mouth again, but the frost had seized 
them as they were being lifted, and were held rigid, in 
suspense. Her eyes were wide and fixed, her mouth half- 
open, and her lower jaw quivered as with intense cold, the 
only part of her in which any motion remained. So stiff, 
so congealed did she seem, that it occurred to Fox, as he 
looked at her, that were he to touch and stir her wild flow 
ing hair, it would break and fall like icicles on the floor. 
He stepped back to the door, then held up his finger, with 
a smile about his lips 

" I am coming back again. I am not going to run away." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 301 

A convulsive movement in her arms. Her hands went 
up with a jerk to her mouth. 

"No," said Fox; "do not bite your pretty hands. 
There " he turned to the table and picked up the old pair 
of gloves that lay there " if you must tear something, 
tear these. They will do you good." 

. He put the gloves to her hands, and they mechanically 
closed on them. Her eyes were as stones. All light had 
deserted them, as fire had deserted her blood, had died out 
of her heart. 

Fox went out, and remained absent about five minutes. 
Suddenly the door was dashed open, and he came in ex 
citedly. "He is coming he is hard at hand. I have 
more to say. Do you mistrust me ? Do you think I am 

telling lies? I will say it to his face ; and then " He 

drew his knife and made a stroke with it in the air, then 
sheathed it again. "Go," said he, "go in yonder." He 
pointed to the well-chamber that opened out of the hall. 
" Remain there. The rest I will tell Anthony to his face." 

He caught her by the wrist and led her to the door, and 
almost forced her into the little chamber. 

Then he went across the hall to the door that led to the 
kitchen, opened it, and looked into a small passage ; crossed 
that to another door communicating with the kitchen, and 
turned the key in it. He returned to the hall, and was 
shutting the door behind him when Anthony entered from 
outside. 

Anthony raised his brows with surprise at the sight of 
Fox there, and flushed with anger. This was the man who 
was going to displace him at Hall, occupy his inheritance, 
and take his very name. And Fox this treacherous friend 
had the daring to come to his house and meet him. 

"What brings you here? " asked Anthony, roughly. 

" An excellent reason, which you might divine." 

Fox had completely recovered his assurance. He came 
across the room toward the seat he had occupied before, 
and, with a " By your leave," resumed it. He thus sat 
with his face in shadow, and his back to the door of the 
well-chamber. 

"And, pray, what are you doing in my house? Hast 
come to see me or Master Gibbs ? " 

"You you alone." 



302 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Anthony threw himself into the settle ; his brow was 
knit ; he was angry at the intrusion, and yet not altogether 
unwilling to see Fox for he desired to have a word with 
him relative to his proposed marriage with Bessie, and 
assumption of his name. 

" And I," said he ; "I desire an explanation with you, 
Fox." 

" Come, now ! " exclaimed young Crymes. " I have a 
desire to speak with you, and you with me. Which is to 
come first ? Shall we toss ? But, nay ! I will begin ; 
and then, when I have done, we shall see what desire re 
mains in you to talk to me and pluck thy crow." 

" I want then to know what has brought you here ? 
Where is my wife ? Where is Urith ? Have you seen her ? " 
Anthony turned his head, and looked about the room. 

" What ! " said Fox, with a jeer in his tone, " dost think 
because thou runnest to Kilworthy to make love to my 
sister Julian, that I came here to sweetheart thy wife ? " 

" Silence ! " said Anthony, with a burst of rage, and 
sprang from his seat. 

" I will not keep silence," retorted Fox, turning grey 
with alarm at the hasty motion, and with concentrated 
rage. " Nay, Anthony, I will not be silent ! Answer me ; 
hast thou not been this very day with Julian ? " 

"And what if I did see her? I went to Kilworthy to 
find you." 

" You go there oftentimes to find me, but, somehow, 
always when I am out, and Julian is at home. When I am 
not there, do you return here, or go elsewhere ? Nay, you 
console yourself for my absence by her society bringing 
her into ill-repute in the county." 

" You lie ! " shouted Anthony. 

"I do not lie," retorted Fox. "Did you not remain 
with her to-day. Where else have you been ? Who drew 
your initials on the glass beside hers, and bound them 
together with a true lover's knot ? " 

Anthony's head fell. He had planted himself on the 
hearthstone, with his back to the fireplace now without 
burning logs or peat in it. The flush that had been driven 
by anger to his face deepened with shame to a dark crim 
son. 

Fox observed him out of his small keen eyes. 



URITH: A TALE OF. DARTMOOR. 303 

"Tell me this," he pursued. "Was it not indiscreet 
that thy father should come in and find thee and Julian 
locked in each other's arms, exchanging lovers' kisses ? " 

Anthony looked suddenly up, and in a moment all the 
blood left his face and rushed to his heart. He saw behind 
the chair in which sat Fox, the form of his wife. Urith 
grey as a corpse, but with fire spirting from her eyes, and 
her nostrils and lips quivering. Her hand was lifted, 
clenched, on something, he could not see what. 

" Tell me," repeated Fox, slowly rising, and putting his 
hand to his belt. " Tell me can you deny that ? can you 
say that it is a lie ? Your own father told me what he had 
seen. Did he lie?" 

Anthony did not hear him, did not see him ; his eyes 
were fixed in sorrow, shame, despair, on Urith. Oh, that 
she should hear this, and that he should be unable to 
answer ! 

" Strike kill him ! " her voice was hoarse like that of 
a man ; and she dashed the gloves, torn to shreds by her 
teeth, against his breast. 

Instantly, Fox's arm was raised, the knife flashed in the 
candle-light, and fell on him, struck him where he had 
been touched by the gloves. 

" That," the words attended the blows, " that for Urith." 

Anthony dropped on the hearthstone. 

Then, as Fox raised his arm once more without a cry, 
without a word, Urith sprang before him, thrust him back 
with all her force, that he reeled to the table, and only 
saved himself from a fall by catching at it, and she sank 
consciousless on the hearthstone beside Anthony. 



CHAPTER XLH. 



ON THE BRIDGE. 



Fox soon recovered himself, and seeing Anthony moving 
and rising on one hand, he came up to him again and 
thrust him back, and once more stooping over him, raised 
the knife, 



304 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" One for Urith," he said, " one for myself, and then one 
for Julian." 

Before he could strike he was caught by the neck and 
dragged away. 

Luke Cleverdou was in the hall ; he had entered unob 
served. Fox stood leaning against the table, hiding his 
weapon behind him, looking at Luke with angry yet 
alarmed eyes. 

" Go," said Luke, waving his left hand. " I have not 
the strength to detain you, nor are there sufficient here to 
assist me were I to summon aid. Go ! " 

Fox, still watching him, sidled to the door, holding his 
knife behind him, but with a sharp, quick look at Anthony, 
who was disengaging himself from the burden of Urith, 
lying unconscious across him, and raising himself from 
where he had fallen. Blood flowed from his bosom and 
stained his vest. 

" It was she. She bade me ! " said Fox, pointing towards 
Urith. Then he passed through the door into the porch, 
and forth into the night. 

Luke bent over Urith, who remained unconscious, and 
raised her to enable Anthony to mount to his feet, then he 
gently laid her down again, and said : 

'' Before any one comes in, Anthony, let me attend to 
you, and let us hide, if it may be, what has happened from 
other eyes." 

He tore open Anthony's vest and shirt, and disclosed his 
breast. The knife had struck and dinted the broken token, 
then had glanced off and dealt a flesh wound. So forcible 
had been the blow that the impress of the broken crown, 
its part of a circle, and the ragged edge were stamped on 
Anthony's skin. The wound he had received was not 
dangerous. The token had saved his life. Had it not 
turned the point of Fox's knife, he would have been a 
dead man ; the blade would have entered his heart. 

Luke went to the well-chamber, brought thence a towel, 
tore it down the middle, passed it about the body of An 
thony, and bound the linen so fast round him as to draw 
together the lips of the wound, and stay the flow of blood. 

He said not one word whilst thus engaged. Nor did 
Anthony, whose eyes reverted to Urith, lying with face as 
marble and motionless upon the floor. 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 305 

When Luke had finished his work, he said, gravely, 
" Now I will call in aid. Urith must be conveyed upstairs ; 
you ride for a surgeon, and do not be seen. Go to iny 
house, and tarry till I arrive. Take one of your best 
horses, and go." 

Anthony obeyed in silence. 

When Mistress Penwarne had returned from the visit to 
Magdalen Cleverdon, she had communicated the intelli 
gence of Fox's suit, and of the old Squire's resolution, to 
Luke, and he at once started for "Willsworthy, that he 
might see Anthony. Of the offer made by the father to 
Anthony he, of course, knew nothing ; but the proposal to 
marry Bessie to Fox, and for the latter to assume the name 
of Cleverdon, filled him with concern. Bessie would need 
a firmer supporter than her Aunt Magdalen to enable her 
to resist the pressure brought upon her. Moreover, Luke 
was alarmed at the thought of the result to Anthony. He 
would be driven to desperation, become violent, and might 
provoke a broil with Fox, in which weapons would be drawn. 

He ai-rived at Willsworthy in time to save the life of 
Anthony, and he had no doubt that the quarrel had arisen 
over the suit for Bessie, and the meditated assumption of 
the Cleverdon name. Anthony was hot-headed, and would 
never endure that Fox should step into his rights. But 
Luke could not understand what had induced Fox to run 
his head into danger. That he was audacious he knew, 
but this was a piece of audacity of which he did not sup 
pose him to be capable. 

Anthony saddled and bridled the best horse in the stable, 
and rode to Tavistock, where he placed himself in the 
hands of a surgeon. He did not explain how he had come 
by the wound, but he requested the man to keep silence 
concerning it. Quarrels over their cups were not infre 
quent among the young men, and these led to blows and 
sword thrusts, as a matter of course. 

The surgon confirmed the opinion expressed by Luke. 
The wound was not serious, it would soon heal ; and he 
sewed it up. As he did so, he talked. There was a stir in 
the place. Squire Crymes of Kilworthy had been sending 
round messages to the villages, calling on the young men 
to join him. He made no secret of his intentions to march 
to the standard of the Duke of Monmouth. 
SO 



306 URITII: A TALE Of 1 DARTMOOR. 

'' It is a curious fact," said Surgeon Pierce, " but his 
Lordship the Earl of Bedford had been sending down a 
large quantity of arms to his house that had been built out 
of the abbey ruins. His agent had told folks that the Earl 
was going to fit up a hall there with pikes, and guns, and 
casques, and breastplates, for all the world like the ancient 
halls in the days before Queen Elizabeth. Things do hap 
pen strangely," continued the surgeon. "All at once, not 
an hour ago it was whispered among the young men who 
were about in the market-place talking of the news, and 
asking each other whether they'd fight for the Pope or for 
tbe Duke, that there were all these weapons in his Lord 
ship's hall ; and that no one was on the spot to guard them. 
Well, they went to the place, got in, and no resistance 
offered, and armed themselves with whatever they could 
find, and are off the Lord knows where." 

When Anthony left the surgeon's house, he considered 
what he should do, after having seen his cousin. To 
Luke's lodgings in the rectory at Peter Tavy he at once 
rode. His cousin he must speak to. To W^illsworthy he 
could not return. The breach between him and Urith 
was irreparable. She knew that he had tampered with 
temptation, and believed him to be more faithless to her 
than he really had been. He would not, indeed he could 
not, explain the circumstances to her, for no explanation 
could make the facts assume a better colour. It was true 
that he had turned for a while in heart from Urith. Even 
now, he felt he did not love her. But no more did he love 
Julian. With the latter he was angry. When he thought 
of her, his blood began to simmer with rage. If he could 
have caught her now in his arms, he would have strangled 
her. She had played with him, lured him on, till she had 
utterly destroyed his happiness. 

What had he done ? He had kissed Julian. That was 
nothing ; it was no mortal crime. Why should he not 
kiss an old friend and comrade whom he had known from 
childhood ? What right had Urith to take offence at that ? 
Had he written their initials on the glass, and united them 
by a true lovers' knot ? He had ; but he had also effaced 
it, and linked his own initial with that of Urith. He loved 
Urith no longer. His married life had been wretched. 
He had committed an act of folly in marrying her. Well, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 307 

was he to be cut off from all his old acquaintances because 
he was the husband of Urith ? Was he to treat them with 
distance and coldness ? And then, how Julian had looked 
at him ! how she had bent over him, and she yes, she 
had kissed him ! Was he to sit still as a stone to receive 
the salutation of a pretty girl ? Who would ? Not a Puritan, 
not a saint. It was impossible impossible to young flesh 
and blood. A girl's kiss must be returned with usury ten 
fold. He was in toils entangled hand and foot and he 
sought in vain to break through them. But he could not re 
main thus bound bound by obligation to Urith, whom he 
did not love bound by old association to Julian, whom he 
once had loved, and who loved him still loved him stormily, 
fervently. What could he do ? He must not go near Julian 
he dare not. He could not go back to Urith to Urith 
who had given to Fox the mandate to kill him ! He had 
heard her words. It was a planned matter. She had 
brought Fox to Willsworthy, and had concerted with him 
how he, Anthony, was to be killed. And yet Anthony knew 
that she loved him. Her love had been irksome to him 
so jealous, so exacting, so greedy had it been. If she had 
desired and schemed his death, it was not that she hated 
him, but because she loved him too much she could not 
endure that he should be estranged from her and drawn 
towards another. 

But one course was open to hirn. He must tear cut 
his way through the entangled threads. He must free 
himself at one stroke from Urith and from Julian. He 
would join Monmouth. 

He rode, thus musing, towards Peter Tavy, and halted 
on the old bridge that spanned in two arches the foaming 
river. The rain that had fallen earlier had now wholly 
ceased, but the sky remained covered with a dense grey 
blanket of felt-like cloud. A fresher air blew ; it came 
from the north, clown the river with the water, and fanned 
Anthony's heated brow. 

His wound began now to give him pain ; he felt it as a line 
of red-hot ii-on near his heart. It was due to pure accident 
that he was not dead. If matters had fallen out as Urith 
desired, he would now be lying lifeless on the hearthstone 
where he had dropped, staggered and upset by the force 
of Fox's blow, when unprepared to receive it 



308 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Now lie recalled that half-challenge offered on the moor 
when first he met Urith, and hud wondered over her bitten 
hands. He had half-threatened to exasperate her to one 
of her moods of madness, to see what she would do to him 
when in such a mood. He had forgotten all about that 
bit of banter till this moment. Unintentionally he had ex 
asperated her, till she Lad lost all control over herself, and, 
unable to hurt him herself, had armed Fox to deal him the 
blow which was to avenge her wrongs. 

He could not go back to the house with the girl who 
had sought his life. No there was nothing else for him 
to do than throw in his lot with Monmouth, and, at the 
moment, he cared little whether it should be a winning or 
a losing cause. 

" Anthony ? " 

" Yes. Is that you, Luke ? " 

A dark figure stepped on to the bridge, and came to the 
side of the horse. 

"I have been home," said the curate. "Urith is ill; 
she scarce wakes out of one faint to fall into another. I 
have sent your grandmother to Willsworthy to be with 
her." 

"It ia well," answered Anthony. "And, now that we 
have met here, I wish a word with you, Luke. I am not 
going back to Willsworthy." 

" Not to Urith ? " 

" No, I cannot. I am going to ride at once to join the 
Duke of Monmouth. You have the Protestant cause at 
heart, Luke, and wish it well ; so have I. But that is not 
all I must away now. I do not desire to meet Fox for 
a while." 

" No," said Luke, after a moment of consideration ; "no, 
I can understand that. But Bessie must not be left 
without some one to help her." 

" There is yourself. What can I do ? Besides, Bess is 
strong in herself. She will never go against what she be 
lieves to be right. She will never step into my shoes, nor 
will she help Fox to draw them on." 

"You cannot ride now, with your wound." 

"Bah! That is naught. You said as much yourself." 

"Tony, there is something yet I do not understand," 
said Luke, falteriiigly. " Did you first strike Fox ? " 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 309 

"No no. I had my hands behind me. I stood at the 
hearth." 

"But the quarrel was yours with him, rather than his 
with you. If you did not strike him, why did he aim at 
you?" 

" Luke, there were matters passed of which you need 
know naught at least no more than this. My father had 
offered to receive me back into his good-will once more, 
to let the past be blotted out, no longer to insist on Bess 
being wed to Fox, and to return to live at Hall." 

"Indeed ! " exclaimed Luke, joyously. " Now can I see 
why Fox came to you, and why he struck you." 

" It was on one condition." 

" And that was " 

" That I should leave Urith, and never speak to her 
again." 

" Anthony ! " Luke's tone was full of terror and pain. 
" Oh, Anthony ! Surely you never never for one moment 
- not by half a word gave consent, or semblance of con 
sent, to this ! It would it would kill her! Oh, Anthony!" 

Luke put up both his hands on the pommel of the 
saddle, and clasped them. What light there was fell on 
his up-turned, ash-grey face. 

" Anthony, answer me. Has she been informed of that ? 
She never thought you could be so cruel so false ; and 
she has loved you. My God ! her whole heart has been 
given to you to you, and to no one else ; and you have 
not valued it as you should have done. Because you have 
had to lose this and that, you have resented it on her. She 
has had to bear your ill-humour she has suffered, and has 
been saddened. And now no ! I cannot think it. You 
have not let her know that this offer was made." 

The sweat drops poured and rolled off Luke's brow. He 
looked up, and waited on Anthony for a reply. 

" She did know it," answered the latter, "but that was 
Fox's doing. He told her ; and told her what was false, 
that I intended to accept the offer, and leave her. No, 
Luke, I have done many things that are wrong, I have 
been inconsiderate, but I could not do this. And now I bid 
you go to-morrow to my father, see him, and tell him my 
answer. That is expressed in one word Never." 

Luke seized his hand, and wrung it. " That is my OWB 



310 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

dear cousin Anthony ! " he said, and then added, " But why 
away at once, and Urith so ill?" 

"I must away at once. I cannot return to her." An 
thony hesitated for some while ; at lust he said, in a low 
tone, "I will tell you why she thinks me false to her, and 
in a measure I have been so. She thinks I no longer love 
her and it is true. My love is dead. Luke I cannot 
return." 

" Oh, Urith poor Urith ! " groaned the curate, and let 
his hands falL 

" Now I go. Whatever haps, naught can be worse than 
the state of matters at present. If you can plead in any 
way for me, when I am away, do so. I would have her 
think better of me than she does but I love her no more." 

Then he rode away. 

Luke remained on the bridge, looking over into the 
rushing water the river was full. 

" Poor Urith ! My God and it was I it was I who 
united them." Then he turned into the direction of Hall. 
" I will go there, and bear Anthony's message to his father 
at once." 



CHAPTER XLIIL 

AN EXPIRING CANDLE. 

When Squire Cleverdon arrived at Hall, he found there 
awaiting him a man booted, spurred, whip in hand, bespat 
tered with mire. The old man asked him his business 
without much courtesy, and the man replied that he had 
ridden all day from Exeter with a special letter for Master 
Cleverdon, which he was ordered to deliver into his hands, 
and into his alone. 

Old Cleverdon impatiently tore away the string and broke 
the seal that guarded the letter, opened it, and began to 
read. Then, before he had read many lines, he turned 
ghastly white, reeled, and sank against the wall, and his 
hands trembled in which he held the page. 

He recovered himself almost immediately, sufficiently to 
give orders for the housing and entertainment of the mes 
senger ; and then he retired to his private room, or office, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 311 

into which he locked himself. He unclosed a cabinet that 
contained his papers, and, having kindled a light, brought 
forth several bundles of deeds and books of accounts, and 
spread them ou the table before him. Some of the docu 
ments were old and yellow, and were written in that set 
courthand that had been devised to make what was written in 
it unintelligible save to the professionals. Squire Cleverdon 
took pen and a clean sheet of paper and began calculations 
upon it. These did not afford him much satisfaction. He 
rose, took his candle, opened and relocked the door, and 
ascended the stairs to his bedroom, where he searched in 
a secret receptacle in the fireplace for his iron box, in which 
were all his savings. Thence he brought the gold he had, 
and, having placed the candle on the floor, began to arrange 
the sovereigns in tens, in rows, where the light of the candle 
fell. After the gold came the silver, and after the silver 
some bundles of papers of moneys due that had never been 
paid, but which were recoverable. 

Having ascertained exactly what he had in cash, and 
what he might be able at short notice to collect, the old 
man replaced all in the iron case, and reclosed the recepta 
cle. 

In the mean while, during the evening, after darkness 
had set iu, to Bessie's great annoyance, Fox appeared. Di 
rectly he left Wills worthy, he thought it advisable to visit 
Hull before going home, and forestall with old Cleverdon 
the tidings of what had occurred. He did not doubt that 
the story of his attack on Anthony would be bruited about 
that Anthony, or Luke, or both, would tell of it, to his dis 
advantage, and he determined to relate it his own way at once, 
before 'it came round to the ears of the Squire, wearing an 
other complexion from that which he wished it to assume. 

"You desire to see my father," said Bessie. "He is 
engaged, he is iu his room ; he would not be disturbed." 

"I must see him, if but for a minute." 

Bessie went to the door and knocked, but received no 
answer. She came back to the parlour. "My father is 
busy ; he has locked himself into his room. You had bet 
ter depart." 

" I can wait," said Fox. 

"Then you must pardon my absence. There has come 
a messenger- this evening for my father, with a letter that 



312 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

has to be considered. I must attend to what is fitting for 
the comfort of the traveller." 

"When left to himself, Fox became restless. He stood 
up, and himself tried the door of old Anthony's apartment. 
It was locked. He struck at the door with his knuckles, 
but received no answer. Then he looked through the key 
hole ; it was dark within. The old man was not there, but 
at that moment he heard him cough upstairs. He was 
therefore in his bedroom, and Fox would catch him as he 
descended. He returned to the parlour. 

Presently Bessie entered with Luke ; she had gone to 
the door, had stood in the porch communing with herself, 
unwilling to be in the room with her tormentor, when 
Luke appeared, and asked to see her father. " Verily," 
said she, with a faint smile, " he is in mighty request this 
night ; you are the third who have come for him first a 
stranger, then Fox " 

"Fox here?" 

" Yes, he is within." 

" I am glad. A word with him before I see your father, 
and do you keep away, Bessie, for a while till called." 

Fox started to his feet when Luke came in, but said noth 
ing till Bessie left the room, then hurriedly, 

" You, raven what news ? But mark you. I did it in 
self-defence. Every man must defend his own life. When 
he knew that I was to take his place in Hall, he rushed on 
me, and I did but protect myself." 

" Anthony's wound is trifling," said Luke, coldly. 

" So ! and you have come to prejudice me in the ear of 
his father." 

" I am come with a message from Anthony to his father." 

" Indeed to come and see his scratch, and a drop of 
blood from it ; and then to clasp each other and weep, and 
make friends ? " 

" The message is not to you, but to his father." 

" And he is not hurt ? " 

"Not seriously hurt." 

" I never designed to hurt him. I did but defend my 
own self. I treated him as an angry boy with a knife." 

" No more of this," said Luke. "Let the matter not be 
mentioned. I will say naught concerning it, neither do 
you. So is best. As for Anthony, he is away." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR, 313 

" Away ? Whither gone ? " 

" Gone to-night to join Monmouth. Your father is gath 
ering men for the Protestant cause, Anthony will be with 
him and them." 

Fox laughed. His insolence had come back, as his fears 
abated. 

" Faith ! he has run away, because I scratched him with 
a pin. At the first prick he fainted." 

Luke went to the door, and called in Bessie. He could 
not endure the association with Fox. 

"Bess ! " he said, " can I see your father ? I have a mes 
sage for him from Tony." 

"He is upstairs in his bedroom," said Bessie. "I will 
tell him you are here when he descends." 

"Come here," exclaimed Fox, who had recovered all his 
audacity, and with it boisterous spirits. " Come here, Bess, 
my dear, and let Cousin Curate Luke know how we stand 
to each other." 

"And, pray," said Bessie, colouring, "how do we stand 
to each other ? " 

" My word ! you are hot. "We shall be asking him ere 
long to join our hands so he must be prepared in time 
he will have a pleasure in calculating the amount of his 
fee." 

" Cousin Luke," said Bessie, " I am not sorry that he 
has mentioned this, for so I can answer him in your pres 
ence, and give him such an answer before you as he has had 
from me in private, but would not take. Never, neither 
by persuasion, nor by force, shall I be got to give my con 
sent." 

In spite of his self-control, Fox turned livid with rage. 

" Is that final ? " he asked. 

" It is final." 

" We shall see," sneered he. " Say what you will, I do 
not withdraw." 

" For shame of you ! " exclaimed' Luke, stepping between 
Bessie and Fox. " If you have any good feeling in you, do 
not pester her with a suit that is odious to her, and after 
what has happened to-night, should, to yourself, be impos 
sible." 

" Oh ! " jeered Fox, " you yourself proposed silence, and 
are bursting to let the matter escape." 



314 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Desist," said Luke. " Desist from a pursuit that is 
cruel to her, and which you cannot prosecute with honour 
to yourself." 

" I will not desist ! " retorted Fox. " Tell me this. Who 
first sought to bring it about ? Was it I? No. Magdalen 
Cleverdon was she who prepared it, then came the Squire 
himself. It's the Cleverdons who have hunted me who 
try to catch me ; not I who have been the hunter. You 
call me Fox, and you have been hue and tally ho ! after 
me." 

" There is my father ! " gasped Bessie, and ran from the 
room. She found the old man in the passage with his 
candle, unlocking his sitting-room door. 

" Oh, father ! " she said, breathlessly, for the scene that 
had occurred had taken away her breath, " here is Luke 
come he must see you." 

"What! at night? I cannot. I am busy." 

"But, father, he has a message." 

"A message? What, another? I will not see him." 

" For a moment, uncle. It is a word from Anthony," 
said Luke, entering the passage. " One word, shall I say 
it here, or within?" 

" I care not if it is one word, say it here ; but only one 
word." 

He was fumbling with the key in the lock. His hand 
that held the caudle shook, and the wax fell on his fingers 
and on the cuff of his coat. He had the key inserted in 
the door, and could not turn it in the wards. 

" Very well," said Luke. " You shall have it in one word 
Never." 

The old man let the key fall he straightened himself. 
His voice shook with anger. " It is well. It is as I could 
have wished it. I take him at his word. Never. Never 
let me say it again. Never, and once again, never ; and 
each never shuts a door on him for all time. Never shall 
he have my forgiveness.' Never shall he inherit an acre or 
a pound of mine. Never will I speak to him another word. 
Nay, were he dying, I would not go to see him ; could I 
by a word save his life, I would not do it. Go tell him 
that. Now go and Elizabeth, hold the candle. I will open 
the door ; go in before me to my room ; I'll lock the door 
on us both. Now all is plain. The wind has cleared away 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 315 

the mists, and we must settle all between us this night, 
with the way open before us." 

He managed to unfasten the door, and he made his 
daughter pass in, carrying the light. Then he turned the 
key in the lock. 

The little table was strewn with deeds and papers and 
books. Bessie cast a glance at it, and saw no spot on which 
she could set the candle. She therefore held it in her 
hand, standing before her father, who threw himself into 
his chair. She was pale, composed, and resolved. He 
could have nothing further to urge than what had been 
urged already, and she had her answer to that. The candle 
was short, it had swaled down into the tray, and could not 
burn for more than ten minutes. 

" Elizabeth," said her father, " I shall not repeat what 
has been said already. I have told you what my wishes, 
what my commands are. You can see in Anthony what 
follows on the rebellion of a child against the father. Let 
me see in you that obedience which leads to happiness as 
surely as his disobedience has brought him to misery. 
But I have said all this before, and I will not now repeat it. 
There are further considerations which make rne desire that 
you should take Anthony Crymes without delay." He drew 
a long breath, and vainly endeavoured to conceal his agita 
tion. ' I bought this place Hall where my forefathers 
have been as tenants for many generations ; I bought it, 
but I had not sufficient money at command, so I mort 
gaged the estate, and borrowed the money to pay for it. 
Then I thought soon and easily to have paid off the debt. 
The mortgagee did not press ; but having Hall as mine 
own was, I found, another thing to having Hall as a tenant. 
My position was changed, and with this change came in 
creased expenditure. Anthony cost much money, he was 
of no use in the farm, and he threw about money as he 
liked. But not so only. I rebuilt nearly the whole of the 
house ; I might have spent this money in paying off the 
mortgage, or in reducing it, but instead of that I rebuilt 
and enlarged the house. I thought that my new position 
required it, and the old farmhouse was small and inconve 
nient, and ill-suited to my new position. But I had no 
fear. The mortgagee did not require the money. Then 
of late we have had bad times, and I have had the drag of 



316 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

the mortgage on me. A little while ago I had notice that 
I must repay the whole amount. I did not consider this 
as serious, and I sought to stay it off. The messenger who 
has now come from Exeter, comes with a final demand for 
the entire sum. The times are precarious. The Duke of 
Moniuouth has landed. No one knows what will hap 
pen, and the mortgagee calls in his money. I have not 
got it." 

" Then what is to be done ? " 

Bessie became white as the wax of the candle, and the 
flame flickered because the candle shook in her hand. 

" Only one thing can be done. Only you can save Hall 
save me." 

"I! Oh, my father!" Bessie's heart stood still, she 
feared what she should hear. 

"Only you can save us," pursued the old man. "You 
and I will be driven out of this place, will lose Hall, lose 
the acres that for three centuries have been dressed with 
our sweat, lose the roof that has covered the Cleverdons 
for many generations, unless you save us." 

"But how, father?" she asked, yet knew what the an 
swer would be. 

"You must marry Anthony Crymes at once. Then only 
shall we be safe, for the Crymes family will find the money 
required to secure Hall." 

" Father," pleaded Bessie, " ask for help from some one 
else ! Borrow the money elsewhere." 

" In times such as this, when we are trembling in revo 
lution, and none knows what the issue will be, no one will 
lend money. I have no friend save Squire Crymes. There 
is no help to be had anywhere else. Here " said the old 
man, irritably "here are a bundle of accounts of moneys 
owed to me, that I cannot get back now. I have sent 
round to those in my debt, and it is the same cry from all. 
The times are against us wait till all is smooth, and then 
we will pay. In the mean time my state is desperate. I 
offered to Anthony but this day to forgive the past and re 
ceive him back to Hall but the offer came too late. 
Hall is lost to him, lost to you, lost to me, lost forever, 
unless you say yea." 

" Oh, Luke ! Luke ! " cried Bessie ; " let me speak first 
with him ; " then suddenly changed her mind and tone, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 317 

" Oh, no ! I must not speak to him to him above all, 
about this." 

." Bessie ! " said the old man ; his tone was altered from 
that which was usual to him. He had hectored and domi 
neered over her, had shown her little kindness and small 
regard, but now he spoke in a subdued manner, with en 
treaty. " Bessie ! look at -my grey hairs. I had hoped 
that all future generations of Cleverdons would have 
thought of me with pride, as he who made the family ; 
but, instead, they will curse me as he who cast it forth 
from its home and brought it to destruction." 

Bessie did not speak, her eyes were on the candle, the 
flame was nigh on sinking, a gap had formed under the 
.wick, and the wax was running down into the socket as 
water in a well. 

" I have hitherto commanded, and have usually been 
obeyed," continued the old man, " but now I must en 
treat. I am to be dishonoured thi'ough my children, one 
my son has left me and taken to himself another home, 
and defies me in all things. My daughter, by holding out 
her hand, could save me and all my hopes and ambitions, 
and she will not. Will she have me me, an old grey 
headed father, kneel at her feet ? " He put his hands to 
the arms of his seat to help him to rise from the chair 
that he might fall before her. 

" Father ! " She uttered a cry, and, at the shock that 
shuddered through her, the flaming wick sank into the 
socket, and there burnt blue as a lambent ghost of a flame. 
" O father ! wait ! wait ! " 

"How long am I to wait? The answer must be given 
to-night; the doom of our house is sealed within a few 
hours, or the word of salvation must be spoken. Which 
shall it be ? The messenger who is here carries my answer 
to Exeter, and, at the same time, if you agree, the demand 
for a licence, that you may be married at once. No delay 
is possible." 

"Let me have an hour in my room ! " 

" No ; it must be decided at once." 

" Oh, father at once ? She watched the blue quiver of 
light in the candle socket. " Very well well when the 
light goes out you shall have my answer/' 

He said no other word, but watched her pale face, look- 



JUS URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

ing weird in the upward flicker of the dying blue flame, 
and her eyes rested on that flame, and the flicker was re 
flected in them now bright, then faint, swaying from 
side to side as a tide. 

Then a mass of wax fell in, fed the flame, and it shot up 
in a golden spiral, revealing Bessie's face completely. 

" Father ! I but just now said to Fox Crymes ' Never ! 
never ! never ! ' ' 

She paused, the flamed curled over. 

" Father ! within a few minutes must I go forth to him 
and withdraw the ' Never ? ' ' 

He did not answer, but he nodded. She had raised her 
eyes from the dying flame to look at him. 

Again her eyes fell on the light. 

" Father ! If I withdraw my ' Never,' will you withdraw 
yours about Anthony ? never to forgive him never to see 
him in Hall never to count him as your sou ? " 

The flame disappeared the old man thought it was ex 
tinguished, but Bessie saw it still as a blue bead rolling on 
the molten wax ; it caught a thread of wick and shot up 
again. 

"Father ! I do not say promise, but say perhaps." 

" So be it Perhaps." 

The flame was out. 

Bessie walked calmly to the door, felt for the key, turned 
it, went forth, still holding the extinguished candle in her 
hand. It was to her as if all that made life blessed and 
bright to her had gone out with that flame. 

She went into the parlour and composedly put out her 
hand to Fox. 

"Take me," she said. "I have withdrawn the 'Never.' 
I am yours ! " 



CHAPTER XUV. 

LADING THE COACH. 



Fox hastened back to Kilworthy. He also knew that 
time was precious. His father was in a fever of excite 
ment about the landing of Monmouth, and was certain to 
give him all the assistance in his power both with men and 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 319 

with money. Not only so, but he would so compromise 
himself that, in the event of the miscarriage of Monmouth's 
venture, he would run the extremest risk of life and for 
tune. 

He had for some time past been acting for the Duke in 
enlisting men in his cause. The whole of the West of 
England was disaffected to the King was profoundly irri 
tated at his overbearing conduct, and alarmed lest he 
should attempt to bring the realm back to Popery. The 
gentry were not, however, disposed to risk anything till 
they saw on which side Fortune smiled. They had suffered 
so severely during the Civil War, and at the Restoration 
had encountered only neglect, so that the advisability of 
caution was well burnt into their minds. The Earl of 
Bedford, who owned a vast tract of property about Tavi- 
stock, secretly favoured Monmoiith, but was indisposed to 
declare himself. He had not forgotten he bitterly re 
sented the execution of his son, Lord William Russell, for 
complicity in the Rye House Plot a plot as mythical as 
the Popish Plot revealed by Titus Gates, and which he 
attributed to the resentment of the Catholic part}'. He 
was willing that Squire Crymes should act for him, and 
run the risk of so doing. 

Fox had the shrewdness to see this, but his father was 
too sincere an enthusiast, and too indifferent to his own 
fortunes to decline the functions of agent for Monmouth 
pressed on him by the Earl of Bedford. 

" What dost want ? I cannot attend to thee," said Mr. 
Crymes, when his son entered the room. On the table lay 
piled up several bags tied with twine, and sealed'. 

"What do I want?" retorted Fox. "Why, upon my 
honour, you have forestalled my thought. I came for 
money ; and, lo ! there it is." 

" I am busy," said the old man. " Dost see, though it 
be night, I am ready for a journey ? I have the coach 
ordered to be prepared. I must travel some way ere day- 
dawn." 

" If you are going away, father, so much the more reason 
why you should give ear to me now." 

"Nay, I cannot. I have much to do many things to 
consider of. I would to God thou wast coming with me ! 
But, as in the case of those that followed Gideon, only 



320 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

such as be whole-hearted and stout may go to the Lord's 
army. " 

" I have the best plea a scriptural one for biding at 
home," laughed Fox ; " for I am going to be married. Ere 
ten days be passed, Bess Cleverdou will be my wife." 

"I am sorry for her. I esteem her too well," said the 
old man, impatiently. "But away with thy concerns; this 
is no time for marrying and giving in marriage, when we 
approach the Valley of Decision in which Armageddon will 
be fought. Go out into the yard and see if any be about 
the coach." 

" I passed through the court in coming here. The coach 
was there no horses, no servants." 

"I must take the coach," said the old man. "I was a 
poor rider when young ; I cannot mount a horse now in 
my age." 

"Then, verily, father, thy coach and four will be out of 
place in the Valley of Decision," scoffed Fox. " Of what 
good canst thou be in an army in a battle if unable to 
mount a horse ? Stay at home, and let the storm of war 
blow across the sky. If thou wantest Scripture to justify 
thee, here it is : 'Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.' " 

" The cause of true religion is in jeopardy," retorted the 
father. " I know what is right to be done, and I will do 
it. Go I must, for, though I cannot fight myself, my coun 
sel may avail ; and I bear to the Duke the very nerves of 
war." He pointed to the money-bags. 

"I did not know thou hadst so much gold by thee, in 
the house," said Fox, going to the table, taking up, and 
weighing one of the bags. 

" A hundred pounds in each," said his father ; "and. good 
faith ! I had not the coin. There, thou art right. But it 
has fallen out that the Earl of Bedford has called to mind 
certain debts to me, or alleged debts for timber, wool, and 
corn, and has sent orders to the steward to pay me for the 
same in gold. The Exrl " he stopped himself. "But 
there, I will say no more. The money is not mine." 

"What, no real debt?" 

" I say nothing. I take it with me, whether mine or 
not signifies naught to thee ; it goes to the Duke of Mon- 
mouth." 

"It concerns me, father, for I want, and must have 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 321 

money. I am shortly to be married, and I cannot be as a 
beggar. I have sent to the College of Arms for licence to 
change my name, and that will cost me a hundred pounds. 
I want the money." 

" I cannot let you have it." 

" But it is here. Let me toll it." 

" Never get thee away, I cannot attend to thee now." 

" But, father ; I cannot be left thus, your clearing away 
all the money in the house, and I about to marry ; who can 
say but Armageddon may turn all contrary to your expec 
tations." 

" Put off the marriage till I return." 

"It cannot be put off. What if all goes wrong, and the 
land be given up to the Jesuits? What then with thy 
neck? What with thy money? Will either be spared? 
Give me, at least, the gold, and take care of thy neck thy 
self ; then one will be safe at all events." 

" If it be the Lord's will," said the old man, with a look 
of dignity, " I am well content. If I follow Lord William 
Russell's steps, I follow a good man, and die in a righteous 
cause. I shall seal my faith with my blood." 

"And the Jesuits will lay their hands on all thou 
hast " 

" I have nothing. Kilworthy belongs to thy sister. As 
for what I have saved, it is not much. I have some bills, 
I have contributed to the suffering saints, I have helped 
the cause of the Gospel with my alms " 

" More the reason, if so much has been fooled away that 
this should be secured. The cause of the Gospel is the 
providing for thine own household, and there never yet 
was a more suffering saint than myself. I will lay hands 
on this coin, and take it as my Avedding portion ! " 

"Hands off!" shouted the old man, half drawing his 
Bword. " Though thou art mine own son, I would run thee 
through the body or ever thou shouldst touch this, which 
is for the justest, truest, holiest cause, and I am a stew 
ard that must give account for the same. I will give thee 
twenty pounds." 

" That will not pay the clerks of the Herald's College." 

" I will not pay for that to change the ancient name of 
Crymes for another." 

" What ! Not when one name brings to me a vile twenty 
21 



322 VBITJI: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

pounds, and the other name will give me a thousand pounds 
a year ! " 

" Heaven gave thee to me, for my sorrow," said the old 
man, " and in giving thee to me, covered thee with my 
name. It is tempting heaven to cast it off and take an 
other. But there ! I have no time for talk. Would God 
I could persuade thee to draw a sword for the good cause." 

" Not a bodkin ! " mocked Fox, who was very angry. 
The sight of the bags of money fevered him. " But you 
have one after your own heart ridden forward, and that is 
'Tony Cleverdon. I heard as much from Luke." 

" "Tony Cleverdoii !" repeated Mr. Crymes. "I am re 
joiced at that. Ah ! would that Providence had given him 
to me as a son ! 'Tony Cleverdon ! That is well. He 
will take my place at the head of a brigade from this re 
gion. My infirmities and age will not suffer me to ride, 
but I will speak to the Duke, and he shall be the captain 
over our men from Tavistock. But come now, and be of 
good mind for once, and help me, lad." The old man 
took up one of the money bags. " I have sent the men to 
the kitchen for their supper, and I would remove all these 
to the carriage whilst they are away, as they know naught 
about the treasure, and it is well that they should remain 
ignoi'ant. Not that I misdoubt them, they be honest men 
and true, and would not rob me of a shilling, but their 
tongues might clack at the taverns, and so it get noised 
that there was money in the coach, and come to the ears of 
scoundrels, and we be waylaid. Not but that we shall be 
well provided against them ; for I shall be armed, so also 
the footman on the box beside the driver, and there will 
be two riders armed, with each a horse led to hitch on 
Avhen we go up the hills, so as to have six to pull the 
coach up. And I shall have two of our recruits to go on, 
with carbines, ahead, and spy about, that there be no high 
waymen awaiting us on the road. So ! Anthony Clevenlon 
is gone on without tarrying for me to ask him. That is 
like the lad. 'Fore Heaven ! even were a party of footpads 
to waylay us, if I said, 'Gentlemen of the Road, I am trav 
elling for the Protestant cause, bearing specie to the camp, 
and we are rising against the Jesuits and the Inquisition, 
and the Pope of Rome, join us and march along ! ' I be 
lieve not one of them would touch a coin, but all would 



TJRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 323 

give a cheer arid come along. Why, who will stay us ? 
There is but the High Sheriff, John Rowe, is a Catholic, 
and perhaps three or four more among the gentry, and 
among the common, simple folk ne'er an one that would 
stay us, and not wish us God speed ! Come, lend a hand 
with the bags ; I will hold the candle. Let all be stowed 
away whilst the men are supping." 

In the courtyard of Kilworthy stood the glass coach of 
Mr. Crymes a huge and cumbrous vehicle, so cumbrous 
that it required four horses to draw it along the roads, 
and six to convey it to the top of a hill. Travelling on 
the highways was not smooth and swift in those days ; the 
roads were made by filling the ruts with unbroken stones 
of all sizes, unbroken as taken off the fields. Where there 
was a slough, faggots were laid down, and the horses stum 
bled over the faggots and soused into the mire between 
them as best they could. Travelling in saddle was in 
those days slow, especially in wet weather, but travelling 
in a coach was a snail-like progress, and the outrunners 
had not to exert themselves extraordinarily to distance the 
horses, for they could trip along on the turf at the side of 
the ways, which were part slough, part rubble-beds of tor 
rents, without the inconvenience and perils that assailed 
the travellers on wheels. 

Mr. Crytnes always journeyed in his coach, for, owing to 
an internal malady, he was unable to sit a horse ; but a 
coach-journey tried him greatly, owing to his age, and the 
jolting he went through in his conveyance. 

The courtyard was deserted, the monstrous vehicle 
looked in the darkness like a hearse, so black and massive 
was it, only the flicker from the reflection of the light re 
lieved its sombreness as Mr. Crymes crept round to the 
back with his lantern, and a bag of gold under one arm. 

Fox sulkily obeyed his father. At the back of the car 
riage was the boot that had a flap which, when unlocked, 
fell down. The old man fumbled for and produced the 
key, unfastened the receptacle, and thrust his bag^ inside. 

" Now give me thine, and go for two more," said he, 
" and I will tick them off in my note-book as they are 
placed in the boot." 

"It is a pity, father," said Fox, "that you have not a 
stouter lock." 



324 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Nay, it sufficeth," answered Mr. Crymea " None will 
know what is fastened within. If we were and the chance 
is not like to come overpowered by highwaymen, I trow 
they would demand the key and open the boot though the 
lock were twice as strong. My own luggage shall travel 
in the front boot. Go, lad, fetch me more of the gold. 
Even in the best cause men will fight faintly unless they be 
paid." 

Fox obeyed, and brought all the bags in pairs to the 
carriage, and saw the old man stow them awa\'. He was 
in an ill-humour, and cursed his father's folly in his heart 

" How if the venture fails ? " he asked, " and then you 
be led to Tyburn. It will be a sorry end to have lost all 
this gold as well as thy life. Thy life is thine own to 
throw away, but the gold I may claim a right to. I am thy 
son, I want it ; I am about to be married, and have a use 
for the money ; now it will all go into the pockets of 
wretched country clowns, who will shoulder a musket and 
trail a pike for a shilling if it were given to me, I could 
put it to good usage." 

" Come with me to my study," said the old man. ' ' Here 
come Jock and Jonas from the kitchen. Come along with 
me, and thou shall have twenty pound in silver and gold, 
and a hundred more in bills that may be discounted when 
the present troubles are over." 

" I will ride with thee, father, some part of the road as 
thy guard till the daybreak." 



CHAPTEE XLV. 

TINLADING. 

The hour was past midnight and before dawn when the 
great coach of Squire Crymes approached the long hill of 
Black Down. The road from Plymouth to Exeter was one 
of singular loneliness for a considerable part of its course, 
but in no part did it traverse country so desolate and 
apart from population as in the stretch, a posting stage be 
tween Tavistock and Okehampton, a distance of sixteen 
miles. It ran high up on the flanks of D irtmoor, mount- 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 325 

ing it nearly nine hundred feet above the level of the sea, 
with the trackless waste of the forest on one hand, and on 
the other a descent by ragged and rugged lanes to distant 
villages. Lydford, almost the sole one at all near the road, 
was severed from it by ravines sawn through the rock,' 
through which the moor rivers thundered and boiled, ever 
engaged in tearing for themselves a deeper course. 

Precisely because this track of road was the most inhos 
pitable and removed from human haunts, was it one of the 
safest to travel even in the most troublous times, for no one 
dreamed of traversing it after nightfall, when aware that 
for sixteen miles he would be cut off from help in the 
event of a breakage of his carriage or the laming of a 
horse ; and as no one ever thought of taking this road ex 
cept in broad day, when it was fairly occupied by trains of 
travellers, no footpads and highwaymen thought it worth 
their while to try their fortunes upon it. 

Koads in former days to a large extent made themselves, 
or were made by the travellers. In the first place the bot 
toms of valleys were deserted by them as much as might 
be, because of the bogs that were there, and the lines of 
'communication were laid on the ridges of hills above the 
springs that undermined and made spongy the soil. Then 
the roads were traced before the enclosures were made, 
and originally were carried as directly as possible from 
point to point. But obstacles, sometimes temporary, in 
tervened : perhaps a slough, perhaps a rut of extraordinary 
depth had torn into the road, and became the nucleus of a 
pool ; perhaps an unduly hard and obstinate prong of 
rock appeared after the upper surface had been worn 
through. Then the stream of ti-avellers swayed to one 
side, and gave the course of the road a curve, which curve 
was followed when hedges were run up. These hedges 
following the curves stereotyped the line of road, which 
thenceforth became permanently irregular in course. 

A roadway in those days was about as easy to go over, 
and to go over with expedition, as the beach of Brighton. 
Consequently it was slow work journeying on such high 
ways on horseback ; aud it was journeying like a snail, 
when travelling in a coach. The outrunner had no very 
arduous task to outstrip the horses. He put his foot on 
the turf by the road-side, and tripped along at his ease, 



32C U1UTH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

leaping the puddles and stones which were occasional by 
the road-side ; whereas they were continuous in the road 
way. 

Fox rode sulkily beside the coach, as it rolled and rocked 
along the highway from Tavistock to the North. The 
night was overcast, after midnight, as it had been before 
the turn of the night ; no wind was blowing, nor did rain 
fall, but the aspect was utterly sombre and uncheering. 
Every light was out ia such houses as were passed, and not 
a passenger was met, or overtook the carnage that lumbered 
along, sending squirts of muddy water to this and that side 
as the wheels plunged into ruts. Fox came occasion 
ally to the coach window, and said something to his father, 
and was bespattered from head to foot, boots, clothes, and 
face. 

Presently the point was attained where the road left the 
valley of the brawling Tavy and climbed Black Down. There 
was a directness in the way in which old roads went at hills 
that was in keeping with the characters of our forefathers. 
A height had to be surmounted, and the road was carried 
up it with a rush, and with none of our modern zig-zags 
and easy sweeps. The hill must be ascended, and the" 
sooner it was surmounted the better. Now, the great road 
to the North from Plymouth by Tavistock had the huge 
hogsback of Black Down to surmount, and it made no hes 
itating and leisurely attempts at it ; it went up four hun 
dred feet as direct as a bow-line. 

On reaching the foot of the Down, the driver paused and 
the footman on the box dismounted. The men with the 
spare horses went ahead and hitched on their beasts. Then 
ensued loud cries and shouts, and the cracking of whips ; 
each man attending to a horse, and encouraging it to do its 
uttermost to haul the great coach up the hill. The only 
men who kept their places were the driver on the box, and 
Mr. Crymes within. 

Now, a good man}' other coaches had halted at the sumo 
spot, and halting there had ground away the soil, so as to 
make a very loose piece of road ; moreover, the water fall 
ing on the road had run down it to the lowest level, and 
finding this rotten portion there had accumulated and done 
its utmost to assist the disintegration. The result was that 
the wheels sank in liquid mire to the axles, and six horses 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 327 

did little more than churn the filth and jerk the coach 
about. 

Mr. Crymes having been subjected to several violent re 
lapses as the coach was half pulled out of the pit and then 
sank back again, thrust his head out of the window and 
called : " Wilkey ! will it not be best to have all the horses 
harnessed? Theie is rope in the box." 

" Well, perhaps it were best, your worship." 

Thereupon much discussion ensued, and much time was 
spent in attaching ropes ; and finally, with great hooting, 
and with imprecations as well, and some words of encour 
agement, the whole team was set iu motion, and the coach 
was hauled out of the slough, and began slowly to snail 
the way up the two-mile ascent. 

Again Mr. Crymes thrust forth his head. 

" Wilkey ! Perhaps if Mr. Anthony were to ride for 
ward, it might be an encouragement to the horses to go 
along with more spirit." 

" Your worship, I do not see Mr. Fox ! I beg pardon, 
Mr. Anthony. I think he has returned." 

" What ! without a farewell? The boy is unmannerly, 
and inconsiderate of what is due to a father. But such is 
the decay of the world, alas ! Go on, Wilkey ! there was 
no necessity for all the men and horses to halt to hear what 
I had to say to thee." 

Again there ensued a cracking of whips, objurgations, 
and cheers, a great straining at ropes, and a forward move 
ment of the coach. 

The vehicle proceeded some way with more ease, for the 
stream of water that had here flowed over the road had 
frmoothed it, and cleared it of obstructions. 

Presently the men and horses came to a dead halt, and 
there ensued ahead much conversation, some expostulation, 
and commotion. 

Again Mr. Crymes' head was thrust out of the window, 
and he called, " Wilkey ! I say ; come here, Wilkey ! What 
is the matter ? Why dost thou not go on ? Has any rope 
broken ? " 

But several minutes elapsed before Wilkey responded to 
his master's call, and when finally, in answer to further 
and more urgent shouts, he did come, it was not alone, 
but attended by several of the other men, dragging with 



328 URITH: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

them by the arms a man whom they had found in the 
road. 

" What is it? Who is he ? What does he here ?" 

"Oh, I will be good! I promise I swear, I will be 
good ! I'll say my prayers ! I'll not get drunk any more ! 
I do not want to go inside I'd rather walk a hundred 
miles and run by night and day, than have this carriage 
stop for me, and hear " 

"Who are you? What are you doing here?" asked Mr. 
Crymes. " Some of you bring the lantern. Let me look 
at him. Is he a footpad ? " 

" No never never robbed any one in my life. I pi-ay 
you do not ask me to step in. I thank thee, I had rather 
walk than gather to thy side. I really will be good. Ton 
my soul I will. Drive on, coachee ! " 

" Why 'fore Heaven ! " exclaimed Mr. Crymes, " this is 
Mr. Solomon Gibbs and, the worse for liquor. Mr. Gibbs, 
Mr. Gibbs ! " 

" Eh ! " said the gentleman, coming to the coach door, 
" why, by cock ! it isn't my Ladye at all ! By my soul, you 
must excuse me, Master Crymes. I w r as in that state of 
fright ! At this time of night, and on Black Down ! I 
thought it could be no other than the Death Coach, and 
that my Ladye wi' the ashen face was inside, and would 
make me ride by her." 

Then half-humorously, but half-scared still, and not 
wholly sober, Mr. Solomon Gibbs trolled forth in broken 
tones, 

I'd rather walk a hundred miles 

And run by night and day, 
Than have that carriage halt for me 

And hear my Ladye say 
" Now pray step in and make no din, 

Step in with me to ride ; 
There s room I trow, by me for you, 

And all the world beside." 

" Why, how came you here? " asked Mr. Crymes. " My 
men took you for a highwayman, and might have fired 
their holsters or carbines at you." 

" And I might ask, how came you here at night, in your 
coach ! By cock ! You do not know the scare you gave 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 320 

me, at the very midnight too and I on the very road 
that my Ladye goes over in her Death Coach! But I 
thought it stopped for me, and that upset my mind alto 
gether. When I saw something black horses, and a coach 
coming along, I tried to skip out of the way and hide 
somewhere, but, not a hiding-place could I find on the 
moor. I did suppose at first that it was on its way for my 
poor niece for Urith, but when it stopped when it 
stopped " he shivered. "I felt my heart go into my 
boots. And I have been looking for him everywhere, in 
every ale-house, and not so much as a thread of his coat, 
nor the breath of a word as to his whereabouts, and she 
so ill dying. I should not be surprised, dead. By cock ! 
when I saw the coach come along, and at or about mid 
night, I made sure my Ladye was on her way to Wills- 
worthy, to fetch Urith ; but when the coach stopped when 
it stopped " again he shuddered. 

" Whom are you seeking ? " asked Mr. Crymes. 

"Anthony, to be sure, my nephew-in-law. But I say, 
Justice, thou art a religious man and a bit of a Puritan ; 
now solve me this. When I thought this was my Lady's 
coach, and that she was about to put out her bony hand, 
and to wave me to come in, then I swore and protested 
I'd not touch another drop of drink and be good as any 
red-letter day saint. Now, as the carriage is not hers, but 
yours, and instead of the Lady wi' the Ashen Face it is the 
Eight Worshipful Justice Crymes, what say you ? Does it 
hold ? Mind you, the oath was taken under misapprehen 
sion. Does it hold ? " 

" What is that you say, Master Gibbs, about your niece ? 
Is she really so ill ? " 

" 111 ! So ill that I made sure the coach was on its way 
for her. I've been running about the world all night like 
the Wandering Jew, to first one ale-house and then anoth 
er, after Anthony. Confound the fellow ! what does he 
mean, running away, hiding where none can find him, when 
Urith is so ill ? " 

"What ails her?" asked Mr. Crymes. "Step in by 
me " 

" No. Tore Heaven, I don't like the risk. You may be 
my Lady in disguise, and I may rub my eyes and find that 
a trick has been put on me. I will into no coach what- 



330 UltlTH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

ever to-night. I will keep to my own feet, though, indeed, 
they are so shaken with much running about that I can't 
rely on them. I'll to the surgeon and have him examine 
them, and let me know why they do not hold up under me 
as they was wont." 

" How long has Urith been ill?" 

" Now, look here ! " said Mr. Solomon Gibbs, approach 
ing the window closer, and lowering his voice. " Poor 
thing, poor thing ! Prematurely, and the babe dead she 
out of her mind, crazed like the house upside down, and 
me running about the country, looking into every ale 
house I can call to mind, to make inquiries after Anthony, 
and not a footprint of him anywhere, and he has gone off 
with a horse the apple-grey you know him." 

" I can tell thee where Anthony Cleverclon is he has 
followed the highest call the voice of religion and of his 
country's need. He has ridden away to join the Duke of 
Monmouth." 

" Whew ! " whistled Solomon. "And his wife like every 
minute to die ! I'll go back and tell her. This is ugly 
tidings he tried to give me a blow 'gainst all laws of the 
game, this past day, but that I forgive him. But to run 
off and never leave a word at home, and Urith dying ! 
That I'll never forgive." 

"If I encounter him in the camp I will tell him the tid 
ings ; and now I must along. This delay has been great 
Wilkey ! what are you standing there agape for ? Urge the 
horses on ; by this time we should have been at the top 
of Black Down. Fare thee well, Master Gibbs." 

He waived his hand out of the window. 

The whips were cracked, shouts, oaths, and entreaties 
recommenced, and the vehicle was again in motion. Mr. 
Solomon Gibbs remained standing. 

But the carriage had not gone forward many yards be 
fore Mr. Gibbs came striding up to the window ; he put 
his head through and said, " Your worship ! Are you 
aware that the boot-flap behind is down ? " 

"Boot behind! " almost screamed Mr. Crymes. "Let 
me out ! Heigh ! Stay the horses ! Wilkey'l the door ! " 

He scrambled out of the coach, called for the lantern, 
and ran behind. 

The flap was down, the boot open and empty. 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 



331 



The coach had been unladen either at the slough at the 
foot of the hill, or during the commotion occasioned by 
the discovery of Mr. Solomon Gibbs. 



CHAPTER XLVI. 



Luke paced his room at the parsonage, Peter Tavy, the 
greater part of the night. He had much, very much to 
trouble him. Urith was seriously ill. Mistress Penwarne 
was with her, otherwise she would have been left to ser 
vants who, with the best intentions, might not have known 
what to do. Her fainting fits had continued one after an 
other-, and then had been succeeded by an event which left 
her in fever and delirium. 

Luke's hands clenched with wrath as he thought of An 
thony Anthony, to whom had been entrusted the care of 
this precious jewel, who had undervalued her, wearied of 
her, neglected her, and broken her heart, perhaps de 
stroyed her young life. He was gone before, indeed, that 
he suspected how ill Urith was, and unaware of the danger 
she was in. Luke could not communicate with him, and if 
he did send a message after him, this might reach him 
when too late, or when unable to return. Urith's life hung 
on a thread ; and, as Luke paced his room, he could not 
resolve whether it were better to pray that it should be 
spared or taken. 

If her life were spared, it would be to what ? To a re 
newal of misunderstandings, to the greatest of unhappi- 
ness, probably to deep-seated, embittered estrangement. 
Anthony and Urith were unsuited to each other she sul 
len, moody, and breaking forth into bursts of passion ; he 
impulsive, reckless, and without consideration for others. 
Was it conceivable that they could become so tempered 
and altered as to agree ? He did not think this possible, 
and he folded his hands to pray for her release ; but again 
he shrank from framing such a prayer lest, by making it, 
he should bring upon himself a sense of guilt, should his 
petition be answered. 



332 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

What was to become of Urith if she lived ? Best of all 
that Anthony should fall on the battle-field fighting for lib 
erty and his religion. That would ennoble a life that 
lacked dignity, that had been involved in one disaster after 
another, that had alienated the hearts most attached his 
father's, his own, Luke's, and, lastly, his wife's. But what 
if it were so ? What if tlrith were left a widow ? 

Luke's heart gave a leap, and then stood still and grew 
faint. She would then be free. Dare he he, Luke 
think of her, love her, once more ? He had the strength 
of moral power to think out the situation, and he saw now 
that it must ever remain impossible that they should unite. 
He had his sacred calling, that brought on him obligations 
he dare not cast aside ; and Urith's husband must be one 
to live at Willsworthy, and recover her property from tho 
ruin into which it had fallen by devoting thereto all the 
energies of his mind and body. Moreover, the radical dif 
ference in their characters, in the entire direction of their 
minds, must separate them, and make them strangers in all 
that is best and stoutest in the inner nature. No, not even 
were she left a widow, could Luke draw nearer to her. 

With his delicate conscientiousness, he took himself to 
task for having for a moment anticipated such a con 
tingency springing out of the possible death of Anthony. 
Then Luke turned his thoughts to Bessie, and saw almost 
as dark a cloud over Hall as that which hung upon Wills- 
worthy. If Anthony and Urith were unsuited for each 
other, far greater was the difference which existed between 
Fox and Bessie. Luke knew Fox knew his unscrupu- 
lousness, his greed, his meanness, his moral worthlessness ; 
and he valued no woman he knew higher than he did 
Bessie, for her integrity, her guilelessness, and self-devo 
tion. By no right could Fox claim the hand of Bessie, for 
by no possibility could he make her happy. To unite her 
to him was to ensure the desolation of her whole life, the 
blighting of all that was beautiful in her. It was to con 
sign her to inevitable heartbreak. She would take an oath 
to do what was impracticable ; she could neither honour 
nor love such a man as Fox ; she would strive to do both, 
but must fail. Luke vowed that nothing would induce 
him to pronounce the marriage benediction over their 
heads. 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 333 

Luke was still up and awake, but kneeling at his table, 
and with his bead in bis bauds, when a rattle of gravel at 
bis window-panes brought him to bis feet with a start, 
and be went to see who was in want of him. He opened 
the casement and looked out, to see Mr. Solomon Gibbs 
below. Luke descended and unfastened the door. 

" Is Urith worse ? " was his breathless question. 

"Whew ! I can say nothing," answered Mr. Gibbs. "I 
am cold. Ahvays dullest before dawn, it is said, and day 
break cannot be a bowshot off. What dost think ? High 
way robbery on Black Down this night Justice Crymes 
plundered whilst on liis way to Exeter in his glass coach. 
The rascals prised open the boot behind, and though there 
were six men with the carriage, no one either saw the rob 
ber or heard him at work. It must have been clone whilst 
they were urging the horses up the ascent ; but it is pass 
ing strange. The highwayman must have been mounted, 
for he could not have escaped with the plundered goods 
bad be not bestrid a horse. How it was done, when it was 
done, by whom, no one can tell anything, and by cock 
they're all talking, and every one has an opinion." 

"Where is Mr. Crymes now ?" 

" Gone on. He was as one distraught what with los 
ing his money, and the call of the business he w^,s on." 

" His money taken ! " 

" Ay, and more than bis own in all about four hun 
dred pounds, that was to be conveyed to the Duke of Mon- 
mouth at Taunton. He told me about it, as I have to go 
to Mr. Cleverdon about it, and see that the neighbourhood 
be searched for footpads. It must have been done quickly, 
for Fox rode behind the carriage, and now and then along 
side it, to the rise of Black Down, when he turned and 
went back to Kilworthy. 'Twas dexterously done, and 
must have been the deed of a skilled hand. Now, what I 
am come here for is that I do not care myself to go to 
Squire Clevei-don. There has not been pleasantness be 
tween him and my family, so seeing your light, I came 
here to ask you to do the matter. Tell him that steps 
must, be taken to have the neighbourhood searched for 
strangers strangers they must be. We've none here 
could do the trick ; all honest folk. And I can be of bet 
ter service going round to the ale-houses. I am well 






334 URITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

known there, and there I can pick up information that 
may be of use. Every cobbler to his bench, and that is 
mine. Will you go to Hall as soon as you can in the 
morning ? " 

"I will do so, certainly. Now tell me about Urith." 

" Urith ! I cannot. I have not seen her ; nor been near 
Willsworthy since you caine away. I have been going 
about the country, to the taverns looking for Anthony, and 
not hearing any tidings of him." 

" I can tell you where he is." 

" I know myself now. Squire Crymes informed me that 
he had ridden across the moor towards Exeter, also bound 
for Taunton. Let me sit down. Nothing can be done yet ; 
every one sleeps. The Hare and Hounds at Cudliptown 
will be closed. Do you hap to have any cider that can be 
got at ? I am dry as old hay." 

Mr. Gibbs took a seat. 

" Lord, I have had a day," said he, " enough to parch 
up all the juices of the body. There was the affair with 
Tony to begin with, and I should not be surprised if the 
cut of the single-stick he gave her " 

" What ! " exclaimed Luke, with a cry. " He strike her ! " 

"Well not that, exactly. He and I were playing at 
single- sticks, when he gave me a cut out of all rules, and 
might have laid my skull bare had not Urith caught it on 
her hand. I doubt not it stung. It must have stung, and 
that may have begun the trouble. No he never ill-treated 
her to that extent, intentionally, but they have not been 
happy together, and she has been very miserable of late." 

Luke sighed, and said nothing. He had covered his 
face with his hand. 

" Poor wench ! " continued Uncle Sol, " she has no pleas 
ure in anything now that is to say, she has not for some 
while, not even in my stories and songs. Everything has 
gone contrary. Anthony has found fault with all I do 
has complained of the state of the farm and the buildings, as 
if I could better matters without money. He has been 
discontented with everything, and Urith has seen it and 
fretted over it, and now things are at their worst ; he is 
away ; she dying, if not dead ; and, Heavens help us here, 
have you any cider? I am dried up with troubles." 

" Come ! " said Luke, " I can bear to be here no longer ; 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 335 

I will go with you to Willsworthy ; I must know how Urith 
is. I cannot endure this uncertainty longer." 

Luke walked to Willsworthy with Mr. Gibbs, who was 
somewhat reluctant to pass Cudliptowu without knocking 
up the taverner of the Hare and Hounds to tell him what 
had happened that night on Black Down, and to obtain 
from him a little refreshment before he traversed the last 
stage of his walk. 

The grey of dawn appeared over the eastern ridge of 
moors by the time Willsworthy was reached, and the birds 
were beginning to pipe and cry. 

No one had gone to bed that night in the house, a rush 
light was burning in the hall, unregarded, a long column 
of red-hot snuff. The front door was open. Mr. Gibbs 
strode into the kitchen, and found a servant-maid there 
dozing on the settle. He sent her upstairs to call Mrs. 
Penwarne down, and the old lady descended. When she 
saw Luke, she was glad, and begged him to come upstairs 
with her and see Urith. It was possible that his presence 
might calm her. She was excited, wandering in mind, and 
troubled with fancies. 

Luke mounted to the room where Urith was. 
By the single caudle contending with the grey advancing 
light of dawn he saw her, and was alarmed at her condi 
tion. Her face was pale as death, save for two flames in 
her cheeks, and her eyes, unusually large, had a feverish 
fire in them. She was sitting up. Mrs. Penwarne had 
striven all night to induce her to lie down, but Urith in 
cessantly struggled to rise, and she had taken advantage of 
her nurse's absence to do so. 

Luke went to her side and spoke. She looked up at him 
with hot eyes, and without token of recognition. 

" I have killed him," she said. " I did it so ! " she rais 
ed her hand, clenched it, and struck downwards, imitating 
the action of Fox. " He fell on the hearthstone, as mother 
said he would, and then I tried to strike him again, and 
again, but was torn away." She began to grapple in the 
air with uplifted hands " Where is the knife ? Where 
are the gloves ? That for Urith ! " 

Luke took her burning right hand, and said, " Lie down, 
lie down and sleep. You must be very quiet, you must 
iiot distress yourself. Anthony is well." 



330 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Anthony is dead. I killed him. And my baby is dead. 
They killed it, because I had killed Anthony." 
"Anthony is alive, he is but little hurt." 
" Where is he ? You have carried him away and buried 
him. I know he is dead. Why does he not come if he is 
not dead. I am sure he is dead. Look ! " she again 
struggled with her hand to be free, and show how the blow 
was struck Look ! You shall see how I did it ! " 

"No Urith, lie down ! Hush ! I will pray with you." 
Luke knelt at her side, but she turned her head impa 
tiently a way. " I will not be prayed for. I cannot pray. 
I killed him. I am glad I killed him, he was untrue to me. 
He had always loved Julian, and he grew tired of me. I 
killed him. I would not give him up. Julian should not 
have him back." 

" Listen I will pray." 

" It is of no use. I do not regret that I struck him I 
struck him to the heart. Answer me. Is there forgive 
ness if there bo no repentance ? " 

She looked eagerly, almost fiercely, at Luke, who did 
not know what to answer. She was, it seemed to him, 
partly conscious, but partly only, of what had taken place 
to be in a state of half dream. She knew him, she could 
reason, but she believed herself to have done that which 
was done actually by Fox Crymes. 

" There ! " she exclaimed, and threw back her head on 
the pillow. "It cannot be. I am glad I killed him. I could 
not do other. He brought it on himself. He was untrue 
to me. He loved Julian all his life, all but for a little while, 
when he fancied me. But you you gave him to me at 
the altar. He could not remain mine. He was drawn 
away. But I could not let Julian have him. She defied 
me it was a fair strife. She won up to a certain point, 
then I won the last point. Look ! I will show you how I 
did it." 

Once more she strove to sit up in the bed, and raised 
her hand, and clenched it. 

" Do not be afraid. I have no knife now. They have 
taken it away to wash off the blood. I have heard them 
cleaning it. But my hand has the stain. That they can 
not clean away. I had his blood on me once before at 
the Drift. But then I did not know what that meant 



TJRITtt: A TALE Off DARTMOOR. 337 

See this is liow I did it. Here is a feather, a feather from 
my pillow. That will do. I will let you see how I killed 
him. I will strike him with the feather. Then take that 
and clean it too." 

Luke held her wrist, and gently forced her back on her 
pillow. 

"Urith!" he said, "leave him to God. Commit the 
matter to God. Do not t.ike the revenging of your wrongs, 
real or fancied, into your own hands." 

She allowed him to compose her for a moment, and 
closed her eyes. But presently opened them again, and 
they were as full of fire as before. 

"-All is to pieces," she said, " all is broken, and Anthony 
broke it. Look here ! " she plucked at her neck, and 
drew forth the halved token that was suspended there. 
" Look, he gave me this but it was false. He has only 
given me one half, he has given the other to Julian. If she 
comes here, I will put my hand in between the ribbon and 
her throat and throttle her. Then there will be three 
dead Anthony and my baby and she ; and I will die next. 
I hope I shall. I long to die." 

" You must not desire death, it is sinful." 

" But I do ; I have nothing to live for. I have killed 
Anthony, and my baby is dead ; they say it was born dead. 
Then I will kill Julian. Look ! you shall see how I killed 
Anthony." 

Again she struggled to sit up. Luke rose from his 
knees, and said, peremptorily, "Lie down." 

She obeyed, and he laid his cool hand on her burning 
temples. Below could be heard Solomon Gibbs tuning his 
fiddle, and then playing a few snatches. 

Urith began to struggle under Luke's hands. " Do you 
hear? He is playing Anthony's song. Let him play it out 
and sing it also." 

Mrs. Penwarne went to the head of the stairs and told 
Mr. Gibbs the request of Urith ; then he put the violin to 
his chin and played : 

An evening so clear 
I would that I were 
To kiss thy soft cheek 
With the faintest of air. 

22 



338 URlTIt: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

The star that is twinkling 
So brightly above, 
I would that I were 
To en-lighten my love. 

He played very softly, and as he played the words of 
the song formed and passed faintly over Urith's lips. She 
may have recalled that evening when Anthony sang it, 
coining up the hill, and so was carried away from the tor 
turing present back into a pleasant past. 

If I were the seas, 

That about the world run, 

I'd give thee my pearls, 

Not retaining of one. 

If I were the summer, 

With flowers and green, 

I'd garnisli thy temples, 

And would crown thee my queen. 

She was quieter, lying with eyes closed, murmuring the 
words as Uncle Sol played in the room below. 

If I were a kiln, 

All in fervour and flame, 
I'd catch thee, and then be 

Consumed in the same. 

Luke lightly raised his hand, and put his finger to his 
lip. 

Urith was asleep. 



CHAPTER XLVH. 

IN THE HALL GARDEN. 

Bessie was in the garden, the following afternoon, with 
scissors and an apron pinned up, trimming her flowers, yet 
with her mind away from the plants ; she was unhappy on 
her own account, yet strove after resignation, and she felt 
the consciousness of having done right in sacrificing her 
self for her father. He must now behave more kindly 
towards her ; be more ready to listen to her intercession 



' URTTff: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 339 

for poor Anthony. Poor Anthony ! she had heard that 
morning that he was gone, gone to extreme risk, and that 
Urith was in danger. She had resolved that now she must 
go to Willsworthy and see her sister-in-law, and be of what 
use to her she could. , Her father could no longer forbid 
that. Even if he did, in that she would not obey him. 

She was stooping over her plants, with tears in her eyes, 
snipping, picking off dead flowers and leaves, and tying up 
the carnations, when she heard behind her the voice of 
Fox. 

"What! busy?" 

She winced, but rose, and with a little hesitation, held 
out her hand to him. 

"Yes," she said, " I must do something with my hands 
to keep my thoughts from resting on troubles." 

" Troubles ! what troubles ? " 

Bessie gave him a look of reproach. " I must feel anx 
ious about my brother, and also for Urith. How is it that 
you did not go as well as your father and my Anthony, to 
draw a sword for the good cause ? " 

" You ask that ? Why, you are my attraction. I cannot 
leave you to venture my precious life in crack-brain under 
takings. Before either of them returns, I suppose we shall 
be married." 

"I am ready to fulfil my promise at any time," said Bes 
sie. 

" The sooner the better. Your father has already sent 
a messenger for a licence. I shall not rest till you are 
mine." 

Bessie knew that what Fox desired was to have his foot 
in Hall, and be established there in the position of heir, 
and that his pretence of caring for her was hollow. A col 
our came into her cheeks like the carnations she was tying 
up. "Enough of that," she said ; "you know the condi 
tions on which I take you ? " 

"Conditions ! On my soul I know of none." 

"I told you that I did not love you, that I never had 
felt any love for you." 

"You had the frankness to inform me of that, and to say 
that you had thrown your heart away on some one else, 
who declined the gift altogether." 

Bessie bowed her head over her flowers. 



340 URITJI: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Yes, you told me that as we walked in the mud on the 
road ; and then you refused me, but changed your iniud 
before many hours had passed. I have no doubt that, 
when I am your husband, you will learn to love and ad 
mire me. However, this is no condition." 

"No condition?" asked Bessie, rising, and looking him 
in the face. " Surely it is. I will take you, as you insist 
on it, and as my father desires it ; but it must be on the 
understanding that you do not ask of me at once what is 
not in my power to give. I will try to love you, I promise 
you. I will strive with my whole heart to give you all I 
undertake ; but I cannot do that at once." 

"Oh! you call that a condition. It is well. I accept 
it." There was a veiled sneer in his tone. 

"Then, again," continued Bessie, "I made my father 
promise, if I gave my consent, that he would try to forgive 
Anthony." 

" What ! forgive and reinstate him ? " asked Fox, 
sharply. 

" There was nothing said about reinstating him. I sup 
pose that my father and you have talked about Hall, and 
everything that concerns the property, and that you un 
derstand the circumstances fully." 

" To be sure I do," said Fox. 

"Then, of course, I said nothing to him about reinstat 
ing Anthony, except in his old place in my father's heart. 
I believe that he will, himself, be glad to forgive the past. 
He cannot have cast out all the old love for, and pride in 
Anthony." 

" And he has promised that ? " 

" He has promised to try and forgive him. And now, 
Fox I mean Tony Crymes you are ready to take me, 
knowing that I do not love you, and can only try to render 
you that love which will be due from a wife to a husband?" 

"Oh, yes ! I take you as you are." 

Of course he would. It was indifferent to him whether 
Elizabeth loved him or not, so long as his ambition and 
greed were satisfied. 

" You see, Bess, I have a sharp tongue, and have made 
many enemies with it, who say in return sharp things of 
me, but with this difference I say these things to their 
faces, they malign me behind my back. When we are 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 341 

married you will know me better, and not believe all you 
Lear said of me." 

Bessie slightly shook her head, and stooped again over 
her carnations. 

" There is one thing further," she said ; " you must help 
me to persuade my father to be completely reconciled to 
Anthony." 

"To be sure I will," answered Fox. "You want to see 
how good a fellow I am, in spite of all that is said of me. 
Here, take my hand, in token that I will do all you ask of 
me." 

He gave her a cold, moist hand. 

"And you promise me," she said, taking it, "on your 
honour that ydu will stand by me and back me up when I 
try to bring Anthony and my father together once more 
on the old terms ? " 

His mistrust was roused, and he did not answer at once. 
Her frank grey eyes rested full on his face, and his eyes 
fell before her steady glance. 

" I will do what you will," he said ; " but I do not sup 
pose that your father will prove as wax in our hands, to 
mould as we like. Anthony has too deeply offended him, 
and Urith he will never see." 

They dropped hands, for at that moment Julian entered 
the garden. 

" I will go, see your father at once, and make trial in 
this matter," said he. 

" You will find him in his room ; he is looking at some 
papers." 

Fox walked away, giving Julian a nod and a sneer as he 
passed, and entered the house. 

Julian came hastily up to Bess. 

" My dear Bessie ! Is it true ? Are you really going to 
take my brother ? It cannot it must not be. It is in 
tolerable to be in the house with him when one is master, 
and he there only on sufferance ; but to have him lord su 
perior, and to be his slave ! " Julian shivered. 

" It is settled. I have passed my word, and I will not 
withdraw it." 

" Bess ! And after the lesson you have had from An 
thony ! " 

"How a lesson, Julian ?" 



342 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Why, dear child, a lesson that it does not answer to 
marry without love." 

"Surely, Julian, there was love there, on both sides." 

" Oh ! love ! A passing caprice. Do you not know that 
Anthony always loved me? Why has he gone off to join 
the Duke of Monmouth ? Do you suppose it is because he 
cares so greatly for the Protestant cause ? Nay, wench, it 
is that he may escape from me and from the sight of 
Urith. I am dangerous, Urith is odious to him. Better be 
where balls are flying than where my eyes flash with temp 
tation and Urith's dart with jealousy." 

"Julian ! how canst thou speak thus? " Bessie stepped 
back from her visitor, without offering to take her extended 
hands. 

" Nay ! do not be so offended. What I speak is the 
truth, and it all comes of marrying where there is no true 
affection. I am holding up thy brother as a warning to 
thee. Dost think that Fox cares a rush for thee ? Not 
half a rush all he looks to is Hall ; he takes thee because 
he cannot have Hall without thee ; and to have Hall is 
double pleasure to him, for he will have the place as his 
own, spiced with the satisfaction of having robbed his friend 
of it," 

" I cannot help myself. I have passed my word, and 
stand to it" 

" Look how things are now at Willsworthy. There is 
Urith dying, maybe ; and Anthony far away. I hope she 
may die. It is best so, for she will have no happiness any 
more with Anthony. He is weary of her, he has found 
out that he cannot find his rest in her, his heart is with 
me. It has come back to me. It flew away a little while, 
and now it has returned. Anthony is mine. He does not 
belong any more to Urith." 

" Shame on you ! " said Bessie. " But I am glad you 
have spoken on this matter. You have acted sinfully, you 
have striven to turn Anthony from his duty." 

"I have done so. Urith and I have wrestled a hitch 
together, and I have given her the turn, a fair back three 
points. That is what she knows, and she is eating her 
heart out at the thought." 

" Do you know what has happened ? Urith has become 
a mother of a dead child." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 343 

" Is it so ? " Julian was startled and changed colour. 
She had not heard this, she only knew that Urith was ill. 

"She is in high fever and derangement of mind. If you 
have driven Anthony away, driven him to his death in the 
battle-field, and Urith also dies, then there will be the lives 
of all three you will be answerable for. It may be that 
Anthony was too hasty in marrying Urith, but once mar 
ried, you should have left him alone. I do not believe, 
Julian, tha,t he ever loved you. No, you may look at me 
in anger and doubt, but I am sure of it ; I am his sister, I 
have seen and heard him, and if you fancy that he ever 
loved you, you are utterly in error. He never did. He 
never loved any girl till he saw Urith. She was his first 
love, not you. No, you never stirred his heart. He liked 
you. It flattered his vanity to see that you admired, 
almost worshipped him, but love you he did not. No, 
Julian, never never ! Urith was his first love, and, please 
God ! will remain his only love." 

Julian Crymes turned deadly white, and clenched her 
hands against her bosom. 

" I saw what you were doing at that dance at the Cakes. 
Then you strove to draw him from his wife then you 
threw the seeds of mistrust into her heart ! You played a 
cruel and wicked game. But do not think, even although 
you may for a while have lured Anthony away from his 
wife, that you will separate them for ever. No ! She was 
his first love, and to her he will return with redoubled 
love when this misunderstanding, this estrangement, is at 
an end that is to say, if they live." 

Bessie did not speak reproachfully, but sadly. 

"Julian, you have been thoughtless, not malicious. I 
can tell you what the end will be, if Anthony do come 
back and find Urith dead. He will not go to you, and 
throw himself at your feet. No ; he will hate you with a 
hatred that will be lasting as his life. He will look on you 
as if not his wife's murderer at all events, as one who 
engalled the last hours of her life who drew briars and 
thorns between them, tearing their hearts when they last 
met. What passed between them I cannot say ; but some 
thing must have something terrible to account for her 
present condition, and for his absence. You are answer 
able for that. Your thoughtlessness, and Anthony's love 



344 URITJI: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

of flattery, have contrived to ruin a Lome. Anthony and 
Urith might have been happy parents of a sweet, innocent 
little one, who would have bowed the heart of his grand 
father, and wiped off it all the rust that has gathered there. 
Tha*> little life, with all it might have been to itself, or to 
others, is destroyed by you ! You and Anthony broke 
the heart of Urith, and brought about what has taken 
place. You cannot give back the little life you cannot 
mend the wreckage of happiness you have brought about. 
Pray to God to have pity on you, and forgive you your 



sins 



" I have no cause to repent," answered Julian ; but she 
did not speak with her old confidence, and she spoke with 
veiled eyes, resting on the gravel of the walk. " I am sor 
ry Uiith is ill. I am sorry that she and Anthony are dis 
appointed in their hopes. I have always loved Authonj-. 
There is no sin in that. If Urith succeeded in drawing 
him away from me to whom he was all but assured, must 
I not feel it ? May I not resent it ? She stole him from 
me, and the blessing at the altar does not hallow her 
theft." 

" What are you saying ! " exclaimed Bessie, fixing her 
eyes on Julian. "Is it not a sin to love a man who has 
sworn before heaven that he will be true to one, and one 
only, and that not yourself? Is- it not a sin to endeavour 
to make him false to his oaths ? " 

" I cannot force him to be true to Urith, and to love her. 
You are going to marry Fox. You will swear to love and 
honour him, and you know you can do neither. You will 
swear and be false to your oath, for it is an impossibility 
to keep it. Anthony swore, but he could not keep his 
oath, he found out that he had make a mistake " 

" You tried to persuade him that he had. Be sure he 
will return to Urith with tenfold deeper, siucerer love, and 
will bitterly rue that he let himself be deluded by you." 

Julian stood brooding, with her eyes on the ground. 
She recalled how Anthony had brushed out her initials 
linked with his, and interwoven in their place his own 
with those of Urith. 

" There," said she, hastily, " I came here for some 
thing else than to be judged and condemned by you." 

" I neither judge nor condemn you," answered Bessie, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 345 

" but I tell you the truth. Anthony can never be yours, 
not even if Urith dies. He never did love you." 

Julian stamped. "You do not know he did, and I 
loved him." 

" What token did he give that he cared for you ? an 
swer me now." 

" I loved him, I love him still. In love all is fair. If 
I thought he did not love me " 

" Well," said Bessie, " what ? " She looked steadily in 
to Julian's eyes. 

"I would dash my head against the stones, and kill 
thought for ever." 



CHAPTEK XLVHI. 

A WEDDING DAY. 

The marriage took place so speedily after the report of 
the engagement as to take every one by surprise ; for 
everywhere a wedding is expected to be much discussed 
and prepared for beforehand. In the case of Fox and 
Bessie, all was over almost as soon as it was known to be 
in the air. 

No great ceremony was made of it. Indeed, there was 
not time to make great preparations ; nor did Squire 
Cleverdon care for display, or, on this occasion, for ex 
pense. His one desire was to have it over, and Fox settled 
in his house, for his affairs were causing him the utmost 
alarm they were gathering to a crisis. It was with them 
but a matter of days ; and, unless Fox were married to 
Bessie before the crisis arrived and became known, it was 
possible that the engagement, on which now all his hopes 
for the salvation of the property hung, might be broken off. 

The licence was obtained, and almost simultaneously 
came the grant from the Garter King of Arms, and Clareu- 
ceaux King of Arms, "of the South, East, and West parts 
of England, from the River Trent southwards," to the ef 
fect that "whereas His Majesty, by warrant under his Royal 
Signet and Sign Manual, had signified to the Most Noble 
the Earl Marshal that he had been graciously pleased to 



346 URITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

give and to gi-ant unto Anthony Crymes, Gent., son and heir 
apparent to Fernando Crymes, Esquire," the licence to 
bear henceforth the arms and name of Cleverdon, in lieu of 
that of Crynies ; that therefore a patent to this effect was 
issued, etc. Consequently, Anthony Crymes was married, 
not in his paternal name, but in that which he had ac 
quired. 

The day was grey and sunless, with a raw northeast 
wind blowing. 

Bessie returned, after the marriage, to the house where 
she had been born, and Fox came with her. She went to 
her old room, and there laid aside her wedding-dress, and 
then came quietly down the stairs into her father's cham 
ber, where she patiently awaited him. 

The old man had been giving orders without, and she 
heard his voice in the passage. She had not long to wait 
before he came in. 

He looked at her with lifted eyebrows, and took off his 
hat, and asked what she wanted there. 

" One word with you, dear father," said she, gently. 

" Very well ; make haste I am busy. There is much to 
see to to-day. Where is Fox?" 

He threw himself into his armchair, and crossed his feet 

"Father," said Bessie, "I have done what you desired, 
and with this day a new life begins with me. I have come 
to ask your pardon for any grief, annoyance, or trouble I 
may have at any time caused you. I also ask you to for 
give me for having opposed your wishes at first when you 
wanted me to marry Fox. I did not then understand your 
reasons. But it has been a hard thing for me to submit. 
I dare say, dear father, you can have no idea how hard it 
has been for me. Now I have sworn to love Fox, and I 
will try my best to do so." 

" Oh, love ! love ! " said the old man ; " that is a mere 
word. You will get accustomed to each other, as I am to 
this chair." 

" That may be. And yet there is love love that is 
more than a word. I suppose you loved my mother." 

The old man made a deprecatory motion with his hand. 

" Oh ! father, without love in the house, how sad life is ! 
I ought to know that, for I have had but little love shown 
me by you. Do not think I reproach you," she suid, habtily, 



UBITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 347 

a little colour mounting into her pale face ; " but I have 
felt the want of what, perhaps, I was not worth y to re 
ceive." 

" Come come ! " said the old man ; "I have no time for 
such talk that leads to nothing." 

" But it must lead to something," urged Bessie ; " for 
that very reason have I come here. You know, my dear 
fathei*, that you made me a promise when I gave my con 
sent, and I come now to remind you of it." 

"I made no promise," said the old man, impatiently. 

"Indeed, father, you did; and on the strength of that 
promise I found the force to conquer my own heart, and 
make the sacrifice you required of me." 

" Oh, sacrifice ! sacrifice ! " sneered Squire Cleverdou. 
" I have been a cruel father, to be sure ; I have required 
you to offer yourself up as a victim ! Pshaw ! You keep 
your home it becomes doubly yours you get a husband, 
and retain your own name of Cleverdon. What more do 
you require ? It is a sacrifice to become heiress of Hall ! 
Good faith ! Your brother would give his ears for such a 
sacrifice as this. Go and get ready for the guests." 

"I cannot go from you, father," answered Elizabeth, 
with gentleness, and yet, withal, with firmness. " I should 
be doing an injustice to myself, to my brother, and to you, 
were I not now to speak out. There was a compact made 
between us. I promised to take him whom you had deter 
mined on for me because if "was your wish, and because it 
was necessary for the saving of the estate. I suppose Fox 
made it a condition. He would not help you out of your 
difficulties unless I gave him my hand." 

" Fox knows nothing about them." 

" What ! " Bessie turned the colour of chalk. "Father ! 
you do not mean what you say? He has been told all. 
He is aware that the mortgage is called in, and must be 
paid." 

The old man fidgetted in his chair ; he could not look 
his daughter in the face. He growled forth : 

" You wenches ! what do you understand of business 
of money concerns mortgages, and the like ? Say what 
you have to say and be gone, but leave these money-matters 
on one side." 

"I cannot, father," exclaimed Bessie*, with fluttering 



>-i8 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

heart ; " I cannot, indeed, father. Is it so that Fox has 
been drawn on to take me without any knowledge of how 
matters stand with regard to the property ? " 

"All properties are burdened more or less with debts. 
He knows that. He does not keep his wits in his pocket. 
I have told him nothing, but he must know that there are 
mortgages. Show me the estate without them. But there, 
I will not speak of this matter with you ; if you will not 
leave the room, I shall." He half rose in his seat. 

" Very well, father, no more of that now. Time will 
show whether he was aware of, or suspected the condition 
Hall is in ; and I trust that he may not then have to re 
proach you or me. That is not what I desired to speak of 
when I came here. I came about Anthony." 

"I know but one Anthony Cleverdon, and he is your 
husband." 

" I came in behalf of my brother and your very flesh and 
blood, which Fox is not. Father, you must you must in 
deed suffer me to pour out my heart before you." 

He growled and turned uneasily in his chair, and began 
to scrape the floor with his heel. His brows were knit, 
and his lips close set. 

li Father," said Bessie, with her clear, steady eyes on 
him, "you speak of love as empty air, but it is not so. 
What but love induced me to submit myself to your will ? 
I love you. To me Hall is nothing ; a cottage with love 
in it, where I might sit at your feet and kiss your hand, 
were a thousand times dearer to me than this new, cold 
house, where all is hard, and love does not settle to live." 
She drew a long breath. " I love you, therefore I have 
bowed myself before you ; and I love Anthony, and for his 
sake I have made the greatest sacrifice any mortal can 
mnke. I have given my life up to another, whom as yet I 
can neither love nor respect, that I might by so doing ob 
tain from you pardon for my brother." 

" A fine pattern of love Anthony has shown !" 

"Father, there is great sorrow and sickness in his house, 
and he is far away, venturing his life for a cause that he 
thinks right. He may never return. His babe is dead, his 
wife ill. See what misery there is hanging over him ! 
Nothing but my love for my brother, my desire to see Cim 
again in your arnfs, has kept me here. When I was plagued 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 349 

about Fox that is to say, when I first heard about him as 
seeking me I had resolved never to marry him, and rather 
than marry him, I would have run away to Anthony ; he 
would have taken me in. But I thought of you alone in 
this house, deserted by both your children, and I thought 
that by staying here I might do something for Anthony, 
find a proper time for speakingin his favour, and so I stayed ; 
and then, father, when you told me in what peril the 
property stood, when I saw what agony of mind was yours, 
when I thought that with the break down of the whole am 
bition of your life, your grey hairs would certainly be 
bowed to the dust then I conquered myself and gave up 
my will to yours. There is love that is more than a mere 
word, it is a mighty force, and oh ! father, I would that 
you knew more of it ! Father, you your own self have 
suffered most of all through your lack of love. I have seen 
how the consequences of your harshness towards Anthony 
have fallen on you, and you have suffered. I dare say you 
may have loved him, but I think, as you say love is nought 
but a word, that you can have had only pride in him, and 
not love for love suffereth long and is kind. He rebelled 
against you because you showed him pride not love. He 
offended your ambition because you had set your heart on 
his taking Julian and winning with her Kilworthy ; he em 
bittered your heart because he married the daughter of a 
man that was your enemy. What has been wounded in 
you has been ambition, not love. "Well, Anthony has done 
wrong. He ought to have considered j'ou. He has ill re 
paid you all that was lavished upon him from infancy. 
But, father, if you had given him love, instead of setting 
your ambition on him, it would not have been so light a 
matter for him to resist your will. I feel his conduct more 
than do you. It is because of him that I have married Fox. 
I have loved and cared for him since he was an infant, as 
though I were his mother as well as his sister. 1 promised 
my mother and his to be his guardian angel, and I have 
been what I could to him, and now, dutiful to my promise 
to her and my love of him, and my desire for your own 
happiness, I have given up myself. So now, father, accept 
the sacrifice I have made, and forgive Anthony his incon 
siderate offence against you." 

The old man felt rather than saw that she was nearmg 



350 URIT1I: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

him with extended hands, with tearful eyes fixed entreat- 
ingly on him. He thought how he had almost gone on his 
knees to her to obtain her consent to marry Fox, and he 
was ashamed of his temporary weakness, the outcome of 
his distress ; now he thought he must compensate for this 
weakness by obstinate perseverance in his old course. 

"Now, Bess," said he, roughly, "no more of this. What 
I did promise that I will keep. I did not undertake to for 
give Anthony. I never no, not for one instant gave way 
to your intercession for that girl that Urith. Her I will 
never forgive ! " 

" What, father ! Not if she dies? " 

" No, never ! not if she dies ! " 

"Then how can you expect forgiveness for' your trans 
gressions? Father, consider that it was not her will to 
marry Anthony. It was his. You taught him to be head 
strong, self-willed, imperious. You taught him to deny 
himself nothing that he wished. He acted on the teach 
ing you gave, and yourself is answerable for the result." 

The old man drew back in his armchair and clenched 
his hands on the arm of the seat, so that the tendons stood 
out as taut strings, and the dark veins were puffed with 
blood. 

" Father ! You have now a son-in-law, taking the place 
in the house that should have been that was Anthony's. 
He takes his place, occupies his seat, wears his very name. 
Compare the two. Which is the most worthy represent 
ative of the Cleverdons, of whom you are so proud ? Which 
is the finest man the tall, strong, splendidly-built Tony, 
your own son, with his handsome face and honest eyes, or 
this other Anthony this Fox who has stolen into his lair ? 
Which is the better in heart ? Tony, with all his faults, 
has a thousand good qualities. He has been vain, self-willed, 
and self-indulgent, but all this came on him from outside ; 
you and I, and all who had to do with him, nurtured these 
evil qualities. But in his inner heart he is sound, and true, 
and good. What is Fox? What good do we know of 
Fox ? Will anything make of him a generous and open- 
hearted man?" 

It seemed to Bessie as though the hands of her father 
that clenched the chair-arms were trembling. He moved 
his fingers restlessly ; and for a moment she caught his eye, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 351 

and thought she saw in it a tender look. She threw her 
arms about him, and, stooping, kissed the backs of his 
hands. It was the first time she had dared to kiss him. 
He thrust her from him. 

" Pshaw ! " said he. " Do you suppose I am to be cajoled 
against my judgment ? " 

"Is that all you have to say?" asked Bessie, drawing 
back. " No, father, you shall not put me of I will not 
be put off. I have won a right to insist on what I ask 
being heard and granted." 

" Indeed ! " He looked up at her with recovered hard 
ness in his eye, and with his hands nerved to the same icy 
grip. " Indeed ! You have acquired a right over me ? " 

" I have, father. I will be heard ! " 

" Very well ; I hold to what I promised. Perhaps," he 
laughed bitterly, " perhaps I may think of the possibility 
of Anthony obtaining my forgiveness. Yes," said he, as a 
sudden access of better feeling rushed over him, as in his 
mind's eye the form of his handsome son rose up before 
him ; " yes, let him come to me as the prodigal son, and 
speak like the prodigal, and desert his swine-husks, and 
then I will kill the fatted calf and bring forth the ring." 

Still the same. He could see no fault in himself no 
error in his treatment of his son. 

Bessie would have answered, but that the door was 
thrust open, and in came Fox, agitated, angry, alarmed. 

" What is the meaning of this ? " he shouted, addressing 
the Squire, regardless of the presence of Bessie. " What 
is this about ? Here is that fellow that man from Exeter 
here again at the door, with two others and " 

" And what ? " 

" He says they are bailiffs, come to take possession." 

" What ! to-day ! Then, son-in-law, you must pay them 
off. I cannot. Save Hall for yourself." 



352 URITH: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

CHAPTER XUX. 

THE PIGEON-COTE. 

" What is the meaning of this ? " asked Fox. " Are 
these wedding-guests invited to help to make merry ? " 

Old Cleverdon looked at Fox, then at the door, in 
which, behind his son-in-law, entered the stranger from 
Exeter. 

" This is Master French," said the Squire. 

" I do not care what be his name, but what his busi 
ness? " said Fox, rudely. "Come in, Master French, and 
let us have this load winnowed. You had better go." The 
last words were addressed to Bessie. 

" This is what I have come about," said the stranger, en 
tering : " The bill for foreclosure has been filed ; and, un 
less the mortgage-money be paid within fourteen days, 
then, Master Cleverdon, you stand absolutely debarred and 
precluded from all rights, title, suit, and equity of redemp 
tion in or to the premises, which thenceforth become the 
absolute property of the mortgagee." 

"And this," exclaimed Fox " this is the meaning of my 
being constituted heir to Hall ! Come, Squire, you must 
take me into council ; for, please to know that now you 
have hooked me into your family and house, I must eat off 
the same trencher as you. You don't suppose I married 
Bess for her beauty, do you ? What have you there ? " 

The old man had gone to his desk, and unlocked it. 

Fox pressed after him, put his hand on his shoulder, and 
thrust him aside. ' ' Let me see your accounts, your mort 
gages, and whatever you have beside stuffed into that cabi 
net of mysteries." 

"Is there no means of raising the requisite money? 
asked French. " Times are bad ; but still money is to be 
had somewhere. You must have friends and relatives who 
can help." 

"Relatives none," said the old man. "Friends I 
have but Justice Crymes." 

" And he is away," said Fox, looking over his shoulder. 

"Away, putting his head iuto a noose." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 353 

" You have a fortnight," said French. " I was sorry for 
you, but I must perform my duij. If in a fortnight the 
sum be not forthcoming " 

" A pretty sum it is ! " shouted Fox, who had got hold 
of the mortgage. " And this is what my father is to be ca 
joled into finding ? That is the meaning of all the hurry 
and scramble of the marriage ? " 

" I have debts due to me, but I cannot get the money in 
in time," said old Cleverdon. 

" If not in time, then as well never," said Fox. " Come, 
you French, tell me all about it." 

The stranger an attorney from Exeter looked at Mr. 
Cleverdon, who nodded his head. He knew that eventu 
ally the whole matter must be made known to his son-in- 
law, but he had not reckoned on it coming to a crisis so 
soon. 

Mr. French plainly stated all the circumstances. A 
large sum had been borrowed on the property some years 
ago when purchased by Anthony Cleverdou, the elder, and 
this surn had been called in. His client, the mortgagee, 
was dead, and the executors were resolved, obliged, in fact, 
to realise the estate, and could not be put off. Mr. Clev 
erdon had been given due notice, and had neglected to 
attend to it ; the mortgage money had not been paid, con 
sequently a bill had been filed in Chancery, and unless the 
entire sum were forthcoming within fourteen days, the 
Cleverdons would have to leave the place, which would 
pass over to the executors, who would sell it. 

Fox followed what was said with close attention, and 
without interruption. The only token of his feelings was 
the contraction and twitching of his hard sandy eyelashes. 
When Mr. French ceased speaking, he laughed aloud, 
hoarsely and hysterically, and became deadly white. His 
eyes turned to old Cleverdon, and with lips curled and 
livid over his teeth, he looked at him in speechless rage for 
some minutes. He was like a mean and angry beast, 
driven to bay, and watching his opportunity to fly out and 
bite. 

Then all at once, with a voice half in a scream, half- 
choked, he poured forth reproaches on the Squire. 

" By heaven ! I did suppose that no one could get the 
better of me ; but I had not reckoned on the craft of an 
33 



354: URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

old country farmer, in whom sharp dealing has gone down 
from father to son, and roguery has been an heritage never 
parted with, never diminished, always bettered with each 
generation. And I have had to take this scurvy name of 
Cleverdon so as to involve me in the disgrace of the family, 
and mated with it to a maid with an ugly face and no wit 
all to get me entangled so that I must with my own 
hands pull the Cleverdous the Cleverdons,' 1 he sneered 
and spat on the floor, " pull with my hands, these Clever- 
dons out of the ditch into which they have tumbled, or lie 
down and be swallowed up in the mire with them. I will 
not do it. I will neither help you nor go into the dirt with 
you. I will leave you to yourselves, and laugh till my 
sides crack when you are turned out of the house. Where 
will you go you and your beggarly daughter ? Shall I 
see if there be room in the poorhouse at Peter Tavy ? Lis 
ten ! " he screamed and turned to the attorney, " listen 
to what this man, this old grey-haired rascal has done. 
He comes of a breed of sheep-dealers, accustomed to get a 
wether between the knees and sheer her ; got horny hands 
from the plough-tail, boots that smell of the stables, arms 
accustomed to heave the dung-fork this is what they have 
been, and he goes and buys Hall with other folks' money, 
and buys himself a coat of arms with other folks' money, 
and builds a mansion in place of his old tumble-about-the- 
ears farmhouse with other folks' money, and puts what 
money he will into the hands of that brag and bombast 
talker, his son, to humble and insult the young gentles of 
good blood and name and, mark you, it is other folks' 
money and then then he offers to make me his heir if I 
will take his daughter, whom no one else will look at and 
give a thank-you for, and assume his name his name that 
reeks of the stable-yard. When I do so, then I find I am 
heir to nothing but beggary ! " He shrieked with rage, 
and held out his hands threateningly at the old man. 

The Squire became at first purple with rage ; he rose 
from his seat slowly. His eyes glittered like steel. He 
was not the man to be spoken to in this manner, to be in 
sulted in himself and his family ! His hand clenched. Old 
though he was, his sinews were tough and his hands were 
heavy. 

Fox came at him with head down between his shoulders, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 355 

his sharp chin extended, his hand like the claws of a hawk 
catching the air. 

The attorney stepped between them, or father and son- 
in-law would have done each other an injury. He laid 
hold of Fox by the shoulder and thrust him back, and bade 
him cease from profitless abuse of an unfortunate man, 
who was, moreover, his father, and to collect his thoughts, 
consider the situation, and decide whether he and his 
father would find the money and save Hall. 

" Find the money !" said Fox. "Do you not hear that 
my father is away on a fool's errand, gone to join the reb 
els ; was taking them money, several hundreds of pounds, 
when he was robbed by the way." He burst into harsh, 
hysterical laughter once more. " My father will not be home 
for a fortnight if he does come home at all. How am I to 
find the money ? Kilworthy is not mine. It belongs to 
my sister." 

" Cannot your sister assist you ? " 

" She would not if she could, but she can touch nothing, 
it is held in trust, and my father is trustee. Let Hall go, 
and the Cleverdons along with it. What care I? " 

" You are now yourself a Cleverdon," retorted the Squire. 

"By heavens," gasped Fox, "that I that I should be 
outwitted, and by you ! " Then he swung through the 
door and disappeared. 

The old man remained standing with clenched hands for 
some minutes. The sweat had broken out on his brow, 
his grey hair, smoothed for the wedding ceremony, had 
bristled with rage and shame, and become entangled and 
knotted on his head. If it had not been for the convulsive 
twitching of the corners of the mouth, he might have been 
supposed a statue. 

Presently he put his hands down on the arms of his 
chair, and slowly let himself sink into the seat. The colour 
died out of his cheeks and from his brow, and he became 
ashen in hue. His hands rested on the chair-arms, mo 
tionless. His lips moved as though he were speaking to 
himself ; and he was so he was repeating the insolent 
words the words wounding to his pride, to his honour, that 
had been shot at him from the envenomed heart of Fox ; 
and these hurt him more than the thoughts of the disaster 
that menaced. 



356 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

"Do not be overcome by his spite," said French. "He 
is disappointed, and his disappointment has made him 
speak words he will regret. He must and will help you. 
My clients would not deal harshly with you they respect 
you, but are forced to act. They do not want your estate 
but their money that they are compelled to call together. 
If this young gentleman be your son-in-law and heir, it 
is his interest to save the property, and he will do it if he 
can. His father can be found in a couple of days, and 
when found can be induced to lend the money, if he has 
the means at his disposal. Perhaps in a week all will be 
right." 

Squire Cleverdon did not speak. 

" And now," said French, " with your consent I will 
refresh myself, and leave you to your own thoughts. It 
is a pity that you did not take steps earlier to save your 
self." 

" I could not I could not. I was ashamed to ask of 
any one. I thought, that is, I never thought the demand 
was serious." 

Fox had gone forth to the stable to saddle a horse ; 
finding no one about in the yard, he seated himself on the 
corn-box, and remained lost in thought, biting his nails. 
All the men connected with the farm were in the kitchen 
having cake and ale, and drinking the health of the bride 
heartily, and secretly confusion to the bridegroom, whom 
they detested, both for his own character, which was pretty 
generally judged, and also, especially, because he had 
stepped into the place and name of their beloved young 
Anthony, who, though he had tyrannised over them, was 
looked up to, and liked by all. 

All was silent in the stable save for the stamp occasion 
ally of a horsehoof and the rattle of the halters at the man 
gers. Bessie's grey was nearest to Fox, and the beast 
occasionally turned her head and looked at him out of her 
clear, gentle eyes. 

Fox put his sharp elbows on his knees, and drove his 
fingers through his thin red hair. He was in a dilemma. 
He was married to Bessie, and adopted into the family. 
As the old man had said to him, he was now a Cleverdon. 
It had cost him a large sum to obtain this privilege, and he 
could not resume his patronymic without the cost of a 



UR1TH: A TALE Off DARTMOOR 357 

fresh grant from the College of Arms. Moreover, that 
would not free him from his alliance. 

Nothing, perhaps, so galled the thoughts of Fox as the 
consciousness that he had been over-reached he who had 
deemed himself incomparably the shrewdest and keenest 
man in the district ; who had despised and laughed at old 
Cleverdon never more than when luring him on with the 
hopes of winning Julian. He had done this out of pure 
malice, with the desire of making the old man ridiculous, 
and of enjoying the disappointment that was inevitable. 
He had played his trick upon his father-in-law ; but the 
tables had been turned on him in compound degree. 

His father-in-law was right he was a Cleverdon, and 
his fortunes were bound up with Hall. If Hall were lost, 
he had lost all but the trifle he was likely to receive from 
his father. If Hall was to be saved, it must be saved by 
him ; and, had he known that it was likely to be sold, he 
would never have encumbered himself with a wife with 
Bessie and degraded himself to take the name of Clever 
don instead of his own ancient and honourable patronymic. 
He would have waited a fortnight ; and, if he could get 
the money together, would have bought Hall, and enjoyed 
the satisfaction of turning the Cleverdons out of it. 

It was now too late. He must decide on his course of 
conduct. He did not think of doing what Mr. French 
supposed he would ride in quest of his father. He would 
not venture himself near the quarters of Monmouth, and 
run the risk of being supposed to have any sympathy or 
connection with the rebellion. Moreover, he very much 
doubted whether his father could, if he would, assist in 
this matter. 

Presently he stood up, went to the grey, saddled her, 
and rode to Kilworthy. 

On reaching that place he put up the horse himself, and 
stole up the steps to the first terrace, on which grew a 
range of century-old yews, passed behind the yews to the 
end of the terrace, where was an abandoned pigeon-house, 
a circular stone building, with conical roof. The door was 
open, and Fox went in. The wooden door had long dis 
appeared, for the pigeon-house had been given up. With 
in were holes in tiers all round the building, in which 
pigeons had formerly built and laid. But the owls and 



358 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

rats bad so repeatedly and determinedly invaded this house, 
and had wrought such havoc among the pigeons, that 
at last it had been abandoned wholly, and the pigeons 
were accommodated in the adjoining farm-yard, on casks 
erected on the top of poles, where, if not out of reach of 
owls, they were secure from rats. The neglected pigeonry 
was too strongly built to fall to ruin, but the woodwork 
was rotted away, and had not been replaced. It wns a 
dark chamber, receiving its light from the door, and was 
not used for any purpose. 

Into this, after looking about him cautiously, Fox enter 
ed. A short ladder was laid against the wall, and this he 
took, and after carefully counting the pigeon-holes, set the 
ladder, and after ascending it, thrust his hand into one" of 
the old resting-places, and drew out a canvas bag. It had 
been sealed, but the seal was broken. It had been opened 
and then tied up again. Then Fox went to the next 
pigeon-hole, and felt in that, and again drew forth a bag 
similar to the first. 

"Here is the money," muttered he. "Enough to save 
Hall, but whether I shall risk doing it is another matter." 

Suddenly the place was darkened the light entering by 
the door was intercepted. 

Fox's heart stood still. For a moment only he was in 
darkness. He fell rather than climbed down the ladder, 
hastily put it back where he found it, and ran outside. 

At the further end of the terrace was Julian. As he 
caught sight of her he attempted to withdraw, but she had 
seen him, and she beckoned, and came to him with quick 
steps. 

" Why, Fox ! you here ! and you were married but an 
hour or two agoue ! Why here? Why not at the side of 
Bessie at table answering the toasts ? " 

"Where have you come from ?" retorted Fox, uneasily. 

" Nay ? that is for me to ask. I have but just come to 
walk up and down for air, and you you spring out of the 
earth. What has brought you back ? Quarrelled already 
with your bride ? " 

" I have returned for you, Julian. Bess is pained and 
aggrieved that you have not come to Hall to be with her. 
She has none as a friend but you." 

" What ! you have come after me ?" 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 359 

" For what else should I come ? " 

"Nay," laughed Julian ; "who can" sound thy dark and 
deep thoughts, and thread thy crooked mind ? I cannot 
believe it." 

"I have ridden Bess's own mare." 

" That may be. And you came here to fetch me ? And 
for that only ? " 

"I did." 

"I won't go." Julian looked at Fox with twinkling 
eyes. " Oh, Fox ! I do love and pity Bess too greatly to 
beat to see her at thy side. So you came for me ? You 
came out here on the terrace after me ? " 

"I have told you so. How long have you been here?" 

" But this minute. I took one walk as far as the old 
pigeon-house and back, and then saw you. Did you come 
up the other way ? From the yard ? " 

"I did." 

" Oh ! I will not go with you. Return to Bess. Tell 
her I love her and wish her well, but I cannot see her ; I 
cannot now, Hove her too well. Get thee gone, Fox." 



CHAPTER L. 

ANOTHER FLIGHT. 

The day was drawing to its decline before Fox returned 
to Hall. He had been alarmed at having been seen by his 
sister in the dove-cote, and he tried by craft to extract from 
her whether she had observed what he had been doing in 
it. He hung about Kilworthy for several hours, uncertain 
what course to pursue. He could draw nothing from Ju 
lian to feed his alarm, and he persuaded, or tried to per 
suade, himself that she had no suspicions that he had been 
in the dove-cote ; then he considered what he had best do 
with the money-bags concealed there. He could remove 
them only at night, and if he removed them, where should 
he hide them ? No more effectual place of concealment 
could well be imagined than the pigeon-house with its 
many lockers, the depths of which could not be probed 
by the eye from below, and only searched by the hand 



360 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

from a ladder. He puzzled his brain to find some other 
place, but his ingenuity failed him. He was angry with 
Julian for having come on the terrace at the inopportune 
moment when he was in the pigeon-house, and he was 
angry with himself for having gone there in daylight. 

He asked, was it probable that Julian, had she suspected 
anything, would not at once have assailed him with in 
quiries wherefore he had gone to that deserted structure, 
and what he was doing within it, on the ladder. It would 
be unlike her not immediately to take advantage of an oc 
casion either against him, or of perplexity to him, and he 
almost satisfied himself that she had believed his account, 
and was void of suspicion that there was concealment be 
hind it Even if she did suspect and search the lockers of 
the pigeon-cote, he must know it. He would find she had 
been there, and he deemed it advisable not to disturb his 
arrangement, but leave the money hidden there till he was 
given fresh cause for uneasiness relative to its safety, at all 
events for a few days, till he could discover another and 
more secret place for stowing it away. 

He remained for some hours, lurking about and watch 
ing ; for he argued that, if Julian entertained any thought 
that he had been in the dove-cote on private ends, like a 
woman she would take the earliest occasion of trying to 
discover his ends, and would go, as soon as she thought 
she was unobserved, to the place and explore its lockers. 

But though he kept himself hidden, and narrowly 
watched her proceedings, he could find no cause for mis 
trust. She left the terrace and went off to the stables to 
see her horse ; she ordered it out for a ride ; then, as rain 
began to fall, she countermanded it ; then she went to the 
parlour, where she wrote a letter to her father to give him 
an account of the marriage of his son, and to express her 
views thereon. 

Finding her thus engaged, and with his mistrust laid at 
rest, Fox left Kil worthy and went to Tnvistock, where he 
entered a tavern and called for wine. He had not resolved 
what to do about the mortgage money on Hull. 

He believed that, with the five hundred pounds stowed 
away in the pigeon-holes at Kilworthy, and with what 
money old Cleverdon was able to raise, sufficient, or al 
most sufficient, could be paid to secure Hall. If more had 



URITH: A TALE Off DARTMOOR. 361 

to be found, it could perhaps be borrowed on the security 
of the small Crymes estate in Buckland ; but Fox was 
most averse to having his own inheritance charged for this 
purpose. If Hall were let slip, then he was left with noth 
ing save his five hundred pounds and the small Buckland 
property. 

He sat in the tavern for long, drinking, and trying to 
reach a solution of his difficulty, consumed with burning 
wrath at the manner in which he had been imposed upon, 
and entangled in the embarrassments of a family into 
which he had pushed his way, believing that by so doing 
he was entering into a rich heritage. 

When he reached Hall, at nightfall, he had drunk so 
much, and was in such an inflamed and exasperated frame 
of mind, as to promise trouble. 

Bess saw the condition he was in the moment he entered 
the door, and she endeavoured to turn him aside from her 
father's room, towards which he was making his way, un 
steadily. 

The serving-men and maids were about, and a few 
guests. Comments, unfavourable to Fox, had passed with 
some freedom, and not inaudibly, relative to his absence 
on that afternoon. No one desired his presence, and yet 
the fact of his being away provoked displeasure. It was 
taken as an insult to those present. That some trouble 
had fallen on Squire Cleverdon, that his position in Hall 
was menaced, was generally known and commented on in 
the house, by guests and servants alike. That Fox had 
left iu 'connection with this difficulty was admitted but 
nevertheless not excused. 

French was there disposed to make himself merry, 
with a fund of good stories to scatter among the guests. 
When Fox appeared, all present, guests and servants, were 
in jovial mood, having eaten and drunken to their hearts' 
satisfaction ; some were in the passage, some in the din 
ing-room that opened out of it, with the door open. Mr. 
Cleverdon was with the guests, and when he beheld his 
son-in-law in the entrance, he started up and came to 
wards him. Fox saw him at once, and hissed, caught at 
the side-posts of the door with his left, and pointed jeer- 
ingly at the Squire. 

" I want to have a talk with you, my plump money-bag, 



362 VRITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

my well-acred Squire father-in-law, and if there are others 
by, so much the better. It is well that all the world should 
see the bubble burst. Ha ! ha ! ha ! This is the man who 
was a little farmer, and pushed himself to become a jus 
tice ! The little shrivelled toad who would blow himself 
out to be like an ox. His sides are cracking, mark you ! " 

"Take him away," said the old man, "he is drunk." 

"Go I pray you go!" pleaded Bessie. "Prithee, re 
spect him, at least in public, look at his grey hairs, con 
sider the trouble he is in." 

" His grey hairs !" retorted Fox. "Why should I re 
spect them ? They have grown grey in rascality. So many 
years of sandy locks, so much roguery, so many more with 
grey hair, double the amount of roguery. Why should I 
respect an old rogue ? I would kick and thrash a young 
one out of the house. His trouble forsooth ! His trou 
ble is naught to mine, hooked on to a disreputable, drown 
ing family, and unable to strike out in their faces, and 
wrench their hands away, and let them swallow the brine 
and go down alone." 

The Squire and the guests stood or sat spell-bound. 
What was to be done with the fellow? How could he be 
brought to silence ? The stream of words of a drunken 
man is no easier stopped than is a spring by the hand laid 
against it. 

" Ha ! ha ! " jeered Fox, still pointing at his father-in-law ; 
" there is the man who has ruled so tyrannically in his house, 
who drove his son out-of-doors because he followed his own 
example an.d married empty pockets. But his son did bet 
ter than the father, he did take a girl with a few lumps of 
granite and a few shovelfuls of peat, but the father's own 
wife had nothing. What he suffered in himself he would 
not suffer in his son." 

The old man, shaking with rage as with the palsy, and 
deadly white, turned to the servants, and called to them to 
take away the fellow. 

"Take me away!" screamed Fox. "Take and shake 
me, and see if there be any gold in my pockets that will 
fall out, and which he may pick up. I tell you I am rich ; 
I have the money all ready, I could produce that in an hour, 
which would save Hall, and send that fellow there, the law 
yer, and his men back to Exeter to-night, if they cared to 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 363 

go over Black Down in the dark, where robbery is com 
mitted and coaches stopped and plundered. I have the 
gold all ready, but do not fancy I will give one guinea to 
help a Cleverdou. I hate them all father, daughter, and 
son ; I curse the whole tribe, I dance on their heads, I 
trample on their hearts, I scorn them. They hold out 
their hands to me, but I will not pick them up." 

Bessie put her ams about him, and, with eyes that were 
full of tears, and face blanched with shame, entreated him 
to go, to control himself, to remember that this old man 
that he insulted was his father-in-law, and that, for bet 
ter, for worse, in riches or poverty, he was her husband. 

"I am not like to forget that," hissed Fox. "O, troth, 
no! Linked to thee to thee, with thy ugly face and 
empty purse ; thee, whom no one else would have, who 
has been hawked about and refused by all, and I am to be 
coupled to thee all my life. 'Fore heaven, I am not like to 
forget that." 

This, addressed to Bessie, whom every servant in the 
house loved, and every guest who knew her respected, 
passed all bounds of endurance. 

An angry roar rose from the men and maids who had 
crowded into the entrance-hall from the kitchen, from the 
courtyard, from the stables. The guests shouted out their 
indignation, and a blow was aimed at Fox from a groom 
behind, that knocked him over, and sent him down on his 
knees into the dining-room. He was not seriously hurt 
not deprived of his senses but other blows would have 
followed from the incensed servants had not Bessie thrown 
herself in the way to protect him. 

" Take him up throw him into the horse-pond ! " 

" Get a bramble, and thrash him with it till he is painted 
red." 

" Cast him in with the pigs." 

Such were the shouts of the servants, and, but for the 
interposition of Bessie, serious results would have followed. 
She gave Fox her hand, and, leaning on her shoulder, -he 
was able to stagger to his feet. The blow he had received 
had driven the final remains of caution he had about him 
from his brain ; he glared around in savage rage, with his 
teeth showing, and his short red hair standing up on his 
head like the comb of an angry cock. 



364 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Who touched me ? Bring him forth, that I may strike 
him." He drew his hunting-knife, and turned from side 
to side. " Ah ! let him come near, and I will score him as 
I did Anthony Cleverdon." 

Bessie uttered a cry and drew back. 

Fox looked at her, and, encouraged by her terror and 
pain, proceeded. " It is true, I did. We had a quarrel 
and drew swords, and I pinked him." 

"A lie!" shouted one present. "Thou wearest no 
sword." 

Fox turned sharply round, and snarled at the speaker. 
" I have not a bodkin a skewer but I have what is bet 
ter a carving-knife ; and with that I struck him just above 
the heart. He fell, and ran, ran, ran" his voice rose to a 
shriek " he ran from me as a hare, full of fright, lest I 
should go after him and strike him again, between the 
shoulder-blades. Farmer Cleverdon ! Gaffer Cleverdon ! 
Thou hast a fool for a son that all the world knows and 
a knave as well, and add to that a coward." 

He stopped to laugh. Then, pointing with his knife at 
his father-in-law, he said : 

" They say that he has gone to join the rebels. It is false. 
He is too great a coward to adventure himself there, and 
add to that I have cut too deep and let out too much white 
blood. He is skulking somewhere to be healed or to die." 

Bessie had staggered back against the wall. She held 
her hands before her mouth to arrest the cries of distress 
that could barely be controlled. The old man had become 
white and rigid as a corpse. 

" I would he were with the rebels. I hope he will be so 
healed, and that speedily, that he may join them, and then 
he will be taken and hung as a traitor. I' faith, I would like 
to be there ! I would give a bag of gold to be there to 
see Anthony Cleverdou hung. I'd sit down on the next 
stone and eat my bread and cheese, and throw the crusts 
and the rinds in his face as he hung. The traitor ! " 

An hour later there came a tap at the door of Willswor- 
thy. Uncle Sol opened, and Bessie Cleverdon entered, 
pale. 

She asked to see her grandmother, Mistress Penwarne, 
who was still there. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 365 

"I am come," she said, "to relieve you. Go back to 
Luke, and I will tarry with Uritb. Luke must need you, 
and I can take your place here. I will not lay my head 
under the roof of Hall whilst Fox is there. It is true that 
I promised this day to love and obey him, but I promised 
what I cannot perform. He has forfeited every right over 
me ! Till he leaves Hall I remain here with Urith both 
unhappy maybe we shall understand each other. My poor 
father ! My poor father ! I cannot remain with him whilst 
Fox is there ! " 



CHAPTER LL 

ON THE CLEAVE AGAIN. 

Ever full of pity and love for others, and forgetfulness 
of self, Bessie sat holding Urith's hand in her own, with 
her eyes fixed compassionately on her sister-in-law. 

Urith's condition was perplexing. It was hard to say 
whether the events of that night when she saw Anthony 
struck down on the hearthstone, and her subsequent and 
consequent illness, with the premature confinement and 
the death of the child, had deranged her faculties, or wheth 
er she was merely stunned by this succession of events. 

Always with a tendency in her to moodiness, she had 
now lapsed into a condition of silent brooding. She would 
sit the whole day in one position, crouched with her elbows 
on her knees and her chin in her hands, looking fixedly 
before her, and saying nothing : taking no notice of any 
thing said or done near her. 

It almost seemed as though she had fallen into a con 
dition of melancholy madness, and yet, when spoken to, 
she would answer, and answer intelligently. Her faculties 
were present, unimpaired, but crushed under the over 
whelming weight of the past. Only on one point did she 
manifest any signs of hallucination. She believed that 
Anthony was dead, and nothing that was said to her could 
induce her to change her conviction. She believed that 
everyone was in league to deceive her on this point. 

And yet, though sane, she had to be watched, for in her 
absence of mind, and internal fever of distress, she would 



3G6 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

put her bands into her mouth, and bite the knuckles, ap 
parently unconscious of pain. 

Mrs. Penwarne, who was usually with her, would quietlj 
remove her hands from her mouth, and hold them down. 
Then Urith would look at her with a strange, questioning 
expression, release her hands, and resting the elbows on 
her knees, thrust the fingers into her hair. 

The state in which Urith was alarmed Bessie. She tried 
in vain to cheer her ; every effort, and they were various in 
kind, failed. The condition of Urith resembled that of one 
oppressed with sleep before consciousness passes away. 
When her attention was called by a question addressed to 
her pointedly by name, or by a touch, she answered, but 
she relapsed immediately into her former state. She could 
be roused to no interest in anything. Bessie spoke to her 
about domestic matters, about the rebellion of the Duke of 
Mon mouth, about the departure of Mr. Crymes, finally, 
after some hesitation, about her own marriage, but she said 
nothing concerning the conduct of Fox on the preceding 
evening, or of her desertion of the home of her childhood. 
Urith listened dreamily, and forgot at once what had been 
told her. Her mind was susceptible to no impressions, so 
deeply indented was it with her own sorrows. 

Luke, so said Mistress Penwarne, had been to see her, 
and had spoken of sacred matters ; but Urith had replied 
to him that she had killed Anthony, that she did not regret 
having done so, and that therefore she could neither hope 
in nor pray to God. 

This Mrs. Penwarne told Bessie, standing over Urith, 
well aware that what she said passed unheeded by the lat 
ter, probably unheard by her. Nothing but a direct ap 
peal could force Urith to turn the current of her thoughts, 
and that only momentarily, from the direction they had 
taken. 

"She has been biting her hands again," said Mrs. 
Penwarne. " Bessie, when she does that, pull out the 
token that hangs on her bosom and put it into her palm. 
She will sit and look at that by the hour. She must be 
broken of that trick. " 

Urith slowly stood up, with a ruffle of uneasiness on her 
dull face. She was conscious that she was being discussed, 
without exactly knowing what was said about her. With- 



TJRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 367 

out a word of explanation, she went out, drawing Bessie 
with her, who would not let go her hand ; and together, 
in silence, they passed through the coui't and into the lane. 

Their heads were uncovered, and the wind was fresh 
and the sun shone brightly. 

Urith walked leisurely along the lane, accompanied by 
Bessie Cleverdon, between the moorstone walls, thick- 
bedded with pink and white flowering saxifrage, and 
plumed with crimson foxgloves. She looked neither to 
right nor to left till she reached the moor-gate closing the 
lane, a gate set there to prevent the escape of the cattle from 
their upland pasturage. The gate was swung between 
two blocks of granite, in which sockets had been cut for 
the pivot of the gate to swing. Urith put forth her hand, 
thrust open the gate, and went on. It was characteristic 
of her condition that she threw it open only wide enough 
to allow herself to pass through, and Bess had to put forth 
her disengaged hand to check the gate from swinging back 
upon her. This was not due to rudeness on the part of 
Urith, but to the fact that Urith had forgotten that any 
one was with her. 

On issuing forth on the open waste-land among the 
flowering heather and deep carmine, large-belled heath, the 
freedom, the fresh air seemed to revive Urith. A flicker 
of light passed over her darkened face, as though clouds 
had been lifted from a tor, and a little watery sunlight had 
played over its bleak surface. She turned her head to the 
west, whence blew the wind, and the air raised and tossed 
her dark hair. She stood still, with half-closed eyes, and 
nostrils distended, inhaling the exhilarating breeze, and en 
joying its coolness as it trifled with her disordered locks. 

Bessie had tried her ;with every subject that could 
distract her thoughts, in "vain. She now struck on that 
which nearly affected her. 

"Urith," she said, "I have heard that a battle is expected 
every day, and Anthony is in it. You will pray God to 
guard him in danger, will you not ? " 

"Anthony is dead. I killed him." 

"No, dear Urith, he is not dead; he has joined the Duke 
of Monmouth." 

" They told you so? They deceived you. I killed him.' 

"It is not so." Bessie paused. Her hand clenched 



368 URITIl: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

that of Urith tightly. " My dearest sister, it is not so. 
Fox himself told me, and told my father he struck 
Anthony." 

" I bade him do so I had not strength in my arm, I 
had no knife. But I killed him." 

"I assure you that this is not true." 

"I saw him fall across the hearthstone. My mother 
wished it. She prayed that it might be so, with her last 
breath ; but she never prayed that I should kill him." 

" Urith ! Poor Anthony, who is dear to you and to me, i ; 
in extreme danger. There is like to be bloody fighting 
and we must ask God to shield him." 

" I cannot pray for him. He is dead, and I cannot pray 
at all. I am glad he is dead. I would do it all over again, 
rather than that Julian should have him." 

" Julian \" sighed Elizabeth Cleverdon. "What has 
been told you about Julian ? " 

" She threatened to pluck him out of my bosom, and she 
has done it ; but she shall not wear him in hers. I killed 
him because he was false to me, and would leave me." 

" No no Urith, he never would leave you." 

" He was going to leave me. His father asked him to go 
back to Hall." 

"But he would not go. Anthony was too noble." 

" He was going to desert me and go to Julian, so I killed 
him. They may kill me also ; I do not care. God took 
ray baby ; I am glad He did that I never wish for a mo 
ment it had lived lived to know that its mother was a 
murderess. It could not touch my hand with his blood on 
it ; so God took my baby. I am waiting ; they will take 
me soon, because I killed Anthony. I am willing. I can 
not pray. I have no hope. I. wish it were over, and I 
were dead." 

On her own topic, on that which engrossed all her mind, 
on that round which her thoughts turned incessantly, on 
that she could speak, and speak fairly rationally ; and 
when she spoke her face became expressive. 

They walked on together. Bessie knew not what to say. 
It was not possible to disturb Urith's conviction that her 
husband was dead, and that she was his destroyer. 

They continued to walk, but now again in silence. Urith 
again relapsed into her brooding mood, went forward, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 369 

threaded her own way among the bunches of prickly gorse, 
now out of flower, and the scattered stones, regardless of 
Bessie, who was put to great inconvenience to keep at her 
side. She was forced to disengage her hand, as it was 
not possible for her to keep pace with her sister-in-law in 
such broken ground. Urith did not observe that Bessie 
had released her, nor that she was still accompanying her. 

She took a direct course to Tavy Cleave, that rugged, 
natural fortress of granite which towers above the river 
that plunges in a gorge, rather than a valley, below. 

On reaching this she cast herself down on the over 
hanging slab, whereon she had stood with Anthony, when 
he clasped her in his arms and swung her, laughing and 
shouting, over the abyss. 

Bessie drew to her side. She was uneasy what Urith 
might do, in her disturbed frame of mind ; but no thought 
of self-destruction seemed to have crossed Urith's brain. 
She swung her feet over the gulf, and put her hands through 
her hair, combing it out into the wind, and letting that 
waft and whirl it about, as it blew up the Cleave and rose 
against the granite crags, as a wave that bowls against a 
rocky coast leaps up and curls over it. 

Bessie allowed her to do as she liked. It was clearly a 
refreshment and relaxation to her heated and overstrained 
mind thus to sit and play with the wind. 

Books were about, at one moment flashing white in 'the 
sun, then showing the blackness of their glossy feathers. 
Their nesting and rearing labours were over : they had de 
serted their usual haunts among trees, to disport them 
selves on the waste lands. 

The roar of the river came up on the wind from below 
now loud as the surf on reefs at sea, then soft and soothing 
as a murmur of marketers returning from fairing, heard 
from far away. 

Something Bessie knew not what induced her to turn 
her head aside, when, with a start of alarm, she saw, stand 
ing on a platform of rock, not a stone's throw distance, the 
tall full form of Julian. Her face was turned towards hr 
and Urith. She had been watching them. The sun was on 
her handsome, richly-coloured face, with its lustrous eyes 
and ripe pouting lips. 

Bessie's first impulse was to hold up her hand in caution, 
24 



370 URITH: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

She did not know what the effect produced on Urith might 
be of seeing suddenly before her the rival who had blighted 
her happiness ; and the position occupied by Urith was dan 
gerous, on the overhanging ledge. 

Bessie rose from her place and walked towards Julian, 
stepping cautiously among the crags. Urith took no no 
tice of her departure. 

On reaching Julian Crymes, Bessie caught her by the 
arm and drew her back among the rocks, out of sight and 
hearing of Urith. 

"For heaven's sake," she entreated, "do not let her see 
you ! Do you see what has fallen on her ? She is not her 
self." 

" Well," retorted Julian, " what of that? She and I staked 
for the same prize, and she has lost." 

" And you not won." 

"I have won somewhat. He is no longer hers, if he be 
not mine." 

" He is not, he never was, he never will be yours," said 
Bessie, vehemently. " Oh, Julian ! how can you be so cruel, 
so wicked ! Have you no pity? She is deranged. She 
thinks she has killed Anthony dead ; but you have seen 
she cannot speak and think of anything now but of her 
sorrow and loss." 

" We played together it was a fair game. She wrested 
from me him who was mine by right, and she must take 
the consequences of her acts we must all do that. I 
yes Bess, I am ready. I will take the consequences of 
what I have done. Let me pass, Bess, I will speak to 
her." 

" I pray you ! " Bess extended her arms. 

" No let me pass. She and I are accustomed to look 
each other in the face. I will see how she is. I will ! 
Stand aside." 

She had a long staff in her hand, and with it she brushed 
Bess away, and strode past her, between her and the pre 
cipice, with steady eye and firm step, and clambered to 
where was Urith. 

She stood beside her for a minute, studying her, watch 
ing her, as she played with her hair, passing her fingers 
through it, and drawing ft forth into the wind to turn and 
curl, and waft about. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 371 

Then, her patience exhausted, Julian put forth the end of 
her staff, touched Urith, and called her by name. 

Urith looked round at her, but neither spake nor stirred. 
No flush of anger or surprise appeared in her cheek, no 
lightning glare in her eye. 

"Urith," said Julian, " how stands the game?" 

"He is dead," answered Urith, "I killed him." 

Julian was startled, and slightly turned colour. 

"It is not true," she said hastily, recovering herself, " he 
has gone off to serve with the Duke of Monmouth." 

" I killed him," answered Urith composedly. "I would 
never, never let you have him, draw him from me. I am 
not sorry. I am glad. I killed him." 

"What!" with a sudden exultation, "you know he 
would have been drawn by me away ! I conquered." 

"You did not get him away," said Urith, "you could 
not for I killed him." 

Julian put out her staff again, and touched Urith. 

" Listen to me ! " she said, and there was triumph in her 
tone. " He never loved you. No never. Me he loved ; 
me he always had loved. But his father tried to force him, 
he quarrelled with him, and out of waywardness, to defy 
his father to show his independence,, he married you ; but 
he never, never loved you." 

" That is false," answered Urith, and she slowly rose on 
the platform to her feet. " That is false. He did love me. 
Here on this stone he held me to his heart, here he held me 
aloft and made me promise to be his very own." 

" It was naught ! " exclaimed Julian. "A passing fancy. 
Come I know not whether he be alive or dead. Some 
say one thing and some another, but this I do know, 
that if he be alive, the world will be too narrow for 
you and me together in it, and if he be dead it is indif 
ferent to both whether we live, for to you and me alike is 
Anthony the sun that rules us, in whose light we have our 
joy. Come ! Let us have another hitch, as the wrestlers 
say, and see which gives the other the turn." 

Urith, in her half-dreamy condition, in rising to her feet, 
had taken hold of the end of Julian's staff, and now stood 
looking down the abyss to the tossing, thundering water, 
still holding the end. 

"Urith!" called Julian, imperiously and impatiently, 



372 URITII: A TALE 0V DARTMOOR. 

" dost hear what I say ? Let us have one more, and a 
final hitch. Thou holding the staff at one end, I at the 
other. See, we stand equal, on the same shelf, and each 
with a heel at the edge of the rock. Oue step back, and 
thou or I must go over and be broken on the stones, far 
below. Dost mark me ? " 

"I hear what you say," answered Urith. 

" I will thrust, and do thou ! and see which can drive the 
other to death. In faith ! we have thrust and girded at each 
other long, and driven each other to desperation. Now let 
us finish the weary game with a final turn* and a fair 
back." * 

Urith remained, holding the end of the staff, looking at 
Julian steadily, without passion. Her face was pale ; the 
wild hair was tossing about it. 

" Art ready ! " called Julian. " When I say three, then 
the thrust begins, and one or other of us is driven out 
of one world into the other." 

Urith let fall the end of the staff ; " I have no more quar 
rel with you," she said, "Anthony is dead. I killed 
him." 

Julian stamped angrily. " This is the second time thou 
hast refused my challenge ; though thou didst refuse my 
glove, thou didst take it up. So now thou refusest, yet 
may be will still play. As thou wilt : at thine own time 
but one or other." 

She pointed down the chasm with her staff, and turned 
away. 



CHAPTER LIL 

THE SAW-PIT. 

At Hall, that same morning had broken on Squire Clev- 
erdon in his office or sitting-room it might bear either 
name leaning back in his leather armchair, with his 
hands clasped on his breast, his face an ashen grey, and 
his hair several degrees whiter than on the preceding 
day. 

* Terms in wrestling. A "turn" is a fall ; a "fair back '' is one 
where the three points are touched head, shoulders, and buck. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 373 

When the maid came in at an early hour to clean and 
tidy the apartment, she started, and uttered a cry of 
alarm, when she saw the old man in his seat. She thought 
he was dead. But at her appearance he stood up, and 
with tottering steps left the room and went upstairs. He 
had not been to bed all night. 

Breakfast was made ready, and he was called ; but he 
did not come. 

That night had been one of vain thinking and torturing 
of his mind to find a mode of escape from his troubles. 
He had reckoned on assistance from Fox or his father, and 
this had failed him. Fox, may be, for all his brag, could 
not help him. The Justice might, were he at home ; but 
he had gone off to join the Duke of Monmouth, and, if he 
did return, it might be too late, and it was probable 
enough that he never would reappear. If anything hap 
pened to Mr. Crymes, then Fox would step into his place 
as trustee for Julian till Julian married ; but could he raise 
money on her property to assist him and save his property ? 
Anyhow it was not possible for matters to be so settled 
that he could do this within a fortnight. 

The only chance that old Cleverdon saw was to borrow 
money for a short term till something was settled at Kil- 
worthy till the Rebellion was either successful or was ex 
tinguished and he could appeal to Fox or his father to 
secure Hall. 

But to have, ultimately, to come to Fox for deliverance, 
to have his own fate and that of his beloved Hall in the hands 
of this son-in-law, who had insulted, humiliated him, pub 
licly and brutally, the preceding night, was to drink the 
cup of degradation to its bitter and final dregs. 

It was about ten o'clock when the old Squire, now bent 
and broken, with every line in his face deepened to a fur 
row, reappeared, ready to go abroad. He had resolved to 
visit his attorney-at-law in Tavistock, and see if, through 
him, the requisite sum could be raised as a short loan. 

The house was in confusion. None of the workmen 
were gone to their duties ; the serving-maids and men 
talked or whispered in corners, and went about on tip-toe 
as though there were a corpse in the house. 

His man told the Squire that Fox was gone, and had left 
a message, which the fellow would not deliver, so grossly 



374 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

insolent was it ; the substance was that be would not re 
turn to the house. The Squire nodded and asked for his 
horse. 

After some delay it was brought to the door ; the groom 
was not to be found, and one of the maids had gone to the 
stable for the beast, and had saddled aud bridled it. 

The old man mounted and rode away. Then he heard 
a call behind him, but did not turn his head ; another call, 
but he disregarded it, and rode further, urging on his 
horse to a quicker rate. 

Next moment the brute stumbled, and nearly went down 
on its nose ; the Squire whipped angrily, and the horse 
went on faster, then began to lag, and suddenly tripped 
once more and fell. Old Cleverdon was thrown on the 
turf and was uninjured. He got up and went to the beast, 
and then saw why it had twice stumbled. The serving 
girl, in bridling it, had forgotten to remove the halter, the 
rope of which hung down to the ground, so that, as the 
animal trotted, the end got under the hoofs. That wac 
what the call had signified. Some one of the serving-men 
h:id noticed the bridle over the halter as the old Squire 
ro-le away, and had shouted after him to that effect. 

Mr. Cleverdon removed the bridle, then took off the hal 
ter, and replaced the bridle. What was to be done with 
the halter? He tried to thrust it into one of his pockets, 
but they were too small. He looked round ; he was near 
a sa\v-pit a bow-shot from the road. He remembered that 
he had ordered a couple of sawyers to be there that day to 
cut up into planks an oak-tree ; he hitched up his horse 
and went towards the saw-pit, calling, but no one replied. 
The men had not come ; they had heard of what had taken 
place at Hall, and had absented themselves, not expecting 
under the circumstances to be paid for their labour. 

The old man wrapped the halter round his waist, and 
knotted it, then drew his cloak about him to conceal it, 
remounted, and rode on. Had the sawyers been at the pit 
he would have sent back the halter by one of them to the 
stable. As none was there, he was forced to take it about 
with him. 

Five hours later he returned the same way. His eyes 
were glassy, and cold sweat beaded his brow. His breath 
came as a rattle from his lungs. AH was over. He could 



URITH: A TALE Off DARTMOOR. 375 

obtain assistance nowhere. The times were dangerous, 
because unsettled, and no one would risk money till the 
public confidence was restored. His attorney had passed 
him on to the agent for the Earl of Bedford, and the agent 
had shaken his head, and suggested that the miller at the 
Abbey Mill was considered a well-to-do man, and might 
be inclined to lend money. 

The miller refused; and spoke of a Jew in Bannawell, 
who was said to lend money at high rates of interest. The 
Jew, however, would not think of the loan, till the Rebel 
lion was at an end. 

All was over. The Squire the Squire ! he would be 
that no more must leave the kind and home of his fathers, 
his pride broken, his ambition frustrated, the object for 
which he had lived and schemed lost to him. There are 
in the world folk who are, in themselves, nothing, and who 
have nothing, and who nevertheless give themselves airs, 
and cannot be shaken out of their self-satisfaction. Mr. 
Cleverdon was not one of these, he had not their faculty of 
imagination. The basis of all his greatness was Hall ; that 
was being plucked from under his feet ; and he staggered 
to his fall. Once on the ground, he would be proper, lie 
thei-e, an object of mockery to those who had hitherto 
envied him. Once there, he would never raise his head 
again. He who had stood so high, who had been so im 
perious in his pride of place, would be under the feet of 
all those over whom hitherto he had ridden roughshod. 

This thought gnawed and bored in him, with ever fresh 
anguish, producing ever fresh aspects of humiliation. 
This was the black spot on which his eyes were fixed, which 
overspread and darkened the whole prospect. The brutal 
ity with which he had been treated by Fox was but a sam 
ple and foretaste of the brutality with which he would be 
treated by all such as hitherto he had held under, shown 
harshness and inconsideration towards. He had been self 
ish in his pi'osperity, he was selfish in his adversity. He 
did not think of Anthony. He gave not a thought to 
Bessie. His own disappointment, his own humiliation, 
was all that concerned him. He had valued the love of 
his children not a rush, and now that his material posses 
sions slipped from his grasp, nothing was left him to which 
to cling. 



.'J7<> VRITIt: A TALK OF DARTMOOR. 

He had ridden as far as the point where his horse had 
fallen, on his way back to Hall, when the rope twined 
about his waist loosened and fell down. The old man 
stooped towards his stirrup, picked it up, and cast it over 
his shoulder. The act startled his horse, and it bounded ; 
with the leap the rope was again dislodged, and fell once 
more. He sought, still riding, to arrange the cord as it 
had been before about his waist, but found this impracti 
cable. 

He was forced to dismount, and then he hitched his 
horse to a tree, and proceeded to take the halter from his 
body, that he might fold and knot it together. 

Whilst thus engaged, a ijiought entered his head that 
made him stand, with glazed eye, looking at the coil, mo 
tionless. 

To what was he returning ? To a home that was no 
more a home to a few miserable days of saying farewell 
to scenes familiar to him from infancy ; then to being cast 
forth on the world in his old age, he knew not whither to 
go, where to settle. To a new life of which he cared noth 
ing, without interests, without ambitions wholly pur- 
portless. He would go forth alone ; Bessie would not ac 
company him, for he had thrown her away on the most 
despicable of men, and to him she was bound him she 
must follow. Anthony he knew not whether he were alive 
or dead. If alive, he could not go to him whom he had 
driven from Hall, and to Willsworthy, of all places under 
the sun, he would not go. Luke he could not ask to re 
ceive him, who was but a curate, and whom he had refused 
to speak to since he had been the means of uniting his son 
to the daughter of his deadly rival and enemy. What sort 
of life could he live with no one to care for him with 
nothing to occupy his mind and energies ? 

How could he appear in church, at market, now that it 
was known that he was a ruined man ? Would not every 
one point at him, and sneer and laugh at his misfortunes ? 
He had not made a friend, except Mr. Crymes ; and not 
having a friend, he had no one to sympathise with, to 
pity him. 

Then he thought of his sister Magdalen. Her little an 
nuity he would have to pay out of his reduced income ; he 
might live with her with her whom he had treated so 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 377 

unceremoniously, so rudely over whom he had held his 
chin so high, and tossed it so contemptuously. 

What would Fox do ? Would he not take every occasion 
to insult him, to make his life intolerable to him, use him 
as his butt for gibes, anger him to madness the madness 
of baffled hate that cannot revenge a wrong ? 

Anything were better than this. 

The old man walked towards the saw-pit. The tree was 
there, lying on the frame ready to be sawn into planks, 
and already it was in part cut through. The men had 
been there, begun their task ; then had gone off, probably 
to the house to drink his cider and discuss his ruin. 

Below his feet the pit gaped, some ten or eleven feet, 
with oak sawdust at the bottom, dry and fragrant. Kound 
the edges of the pit the hart's-tongue fern and the penny 
wort had lodged between the stones and luxuriated, the 
latter throwing up at this time- its white spires of flower. 

A magnificent plume of fern occupied one end of the 
trough. Bushes and oak-coppice were around, and almost 
concealed the saw-pit from the road. 

That saw-pit seemed to the old man to be a grave, and a 
grave that invited an occupant. 

He knelt on the cross-piece on which the upper sawyer 
stands when engaged on his work, and round it fastened 
firmly the end of the rope ; then fixed the halter with run 
ning knot about his own neck. 

He stood up and bent his grey head, threw his hat on 
one side, and looked down into the trough. 

He had corne to the end. Everything was gone, or go 
ing, from him even a sepulchre with his fathers, for, if he 
died by his own hand, then he would not be buried with 
them, but near that saw-pit, where a cross- way led to Black 
Down. It was well that so it should be ; so he would re 
tain, at all events, six foot of the paternal inheritance. 
That six foot would be his inalienably, and that would be 
better than banishment to the churchyard of Peter Tavy. 
But he would make sure that he carried with him some 
thing of the ancestral land. He crept along the beam, 
with the rope about his neck, fastened near the middle of 
the saw-pit, like a dog running to the extent of his chain, 
and scrabbled up some of the soil, with which he stuffed 
his ears and his mouth, and filled his hands. 



378 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Thus furnished, he stepped back, and again looked 
down. He did not pray. He had no thought about his 
sou l about heaven. His mind was fixed on the earth 
the earth of Hall, with which he must part, with all but 
what he held, and with which he had choked his mouth. 

"Earth to earth !" 

No words of the burial office would be said over him ; 
but what cared he ? It would be the earth of Hall that 
went back to the earth of Hall when he perished and was 
buried there. His flesh had been nourished by the soil of 
Hall, his mind had lived on nothing else. He could not 
speak as his mouth was full. How sweet, how cool tasted 
that clod upon his tongue under his palate ! 

Though he could not speak he formed words in his 
mind, and he said to himself 

" Thrice will I say ' Earth to earth ! ' and then leap 
down." 

Once the words were said, and now he said them again, 
in his mind 

" Earth to earth." 

There was a large black spider on the oak-tree, running 
up and down the chopped section, and now, all at once, it 
dropped, but did not fall it swung at the end of its silken 
fibre. Mr. Cleverdon watched it. As the spider dropped, 
so, in another minute, would he. Then the spider ran up 
its thread. The old man shook his head. When he fell 
he would remain there motionless. What then would the 
spider do ? Would it swing and catch at him, and pro 
ceed to construct a cobweb between him and the side of 
the pit ? He saw himself thus utilised as a sidestay for a 
great cobweb, and saw a brown butterfly, with silver uu- 
derwings, now playing about the pit-mouth, come to the 
cobweb and be caught in it. He shook his head he niusl 
not yield to these illusions. 

" Earth to " 

A hand was laid on his shoulder, an arm put about 
his waist ; he was drawn to the side of the pit, and the 
rope hastily disengaged from his throat. 

With blank, startled eyes old Squire Cleverdon looked 
on the face of his preserver. It was that of Luke, his 
nephew. 

" Uncle ! dear uncle ! " 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 379 

Luke took the halter, unloosed it from where it had 
been fastened to the beam, knotted it up, and flung it far 
away among the bushes. 

The old man said nothing, but stood before his nephew 
with downcast eyes, slightly trembling. 

Luke was silent also for some while, allowing the old 
man to recover himself. Then he took his arm in his own 
and led him back to the horse. 

" Let me alone ! Let me go ! " said old Cleverdon. 

" Uncle, we will go together. I was on my way to you. 
I had heard in what trouble you were, and I thought it 
possible I might be of some assistance to you." 

" You ! " the Squire shook his head. " I want over a 
thousand pounds at once." 

" That I have not got. Can I not help you in any other 
way? " 

" There is no other way." 

" What has happened," said Luke, "is by the will of 
God, and you must accept it, and look to Him to bless 
your loss to you." 

" Ah, you are a parson ! " said the old man. 

Luke did not urge him to remount his horse. He kept 
his arm, and helped him along, as though he were conduc 
ting a sick man on his walk, till he had conveyed him some 
distance from the saw-pit. As the Squire's step became 
firmer, he said, 

" A hard trial is laid on you, dear uncle, but you must 
bear up under it as a man. Do not let folk think that it 
has broken you down. They will respect you when they 
see your courage and steadfastness. Put your trust in 
God, and He will give you in place of Hall something bet 
ter than that better a thousand times, which hitherto you 
have not esteemed." 

" What is that ? " asked the old man, loosening his arm, 
standing still, and looking Luke shyly in the face. 

"What is that?" repeated Luke. "Wait! Trust in 
God and see." 



380 URITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

\ 
CHAPTER LUL 

BAD TIDINGS. 

On reaching Hall, the first person that caine to meet 
them was Bessie. She had returned, anxious about her 
father, and to collect some of her clothes. On arriving, 
she had been told that he had not gone to bed all night, 
that he looked ill and aged ; that he had ordered his horse 
and had ridden away without telling any one whither he 
was going, and that some hours had elapsed without his 
re-appearing. Bess was filled with uneasiness, and was 
about to send out the servants to inquire as to the direction 
he had taken, and by whom he had been last seen, when 
the old man returned on foot, leaning on Luke, who led 
the horse by the bridle. 

" Has any accident happened ? " she asked, with chang 
ing colour. The old man gave a shy glance at her, then 
let his eyes fall to the ground. He said nothing, and went 
into the house to his room. Bess's uneasiness was not di 
minished. Luke spared her the trouble of asking questions. 
He told her that he had met her father on the way, and 
that they had come to an understanding, so that the es 
trangement that had existed between them since Anthony's 
marriage was at an end. 

Bessie's colour mounted to her temples, she was glad to 
hear this ; and Luke saw her pleasure in her eyes. He took 
her hand. 

Then she lowered her eyes and said : " Oh, Luke ! what 
am I to do? Cau'I withdraw the promise made yesterday? 
I cannot fulfil it. I did not know it then. Now it is im 
possible. I can never love Fox never respect him. He 
has behaved to my father in a manner that even if forgiven 
is not to be forgotten. And, indeed, I must tell yon. He 
said he had struck Anthony and half killed him. I do not 
know what to think. Urith " 

" I know what Urith says. I was present I saw the 
blow dealt. Fox did that Urith bade him do it." 

Bessie's breath caught. Luke hastened to reassure her. 

"Anthony was not seriously hurt. Something he wore 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 381 

a token on his breast turned the point of the knife ; 
but I am to blame, I am greatly to blame, I should have 
come and seen your father before your marriage and told 
him what I knew, then you would not have been drawn into 
this " 

" Oh, Luke ! " interrupted Bessie, " I do not think any 
thing you said would have altered his determination. He 
was resolved, and when resolved, nothing will turn him 
from his purpose. As we were married at Tavistock and 
not in your church, you were not spoken to about it." 

"No but I ought to have seen your father. I shall ever 
reproach myself with my neglect, or rather my cowardice, 
and now I have news, and that sad, to tell you. It is vague, 
and yet, I believe, trustworthy. Gloine, who went from 
my parish to join the Duke of Monmouth, has come back. 
He rode the whole way on a horse that belonged to some 
gentleman who had been shot. There has been a battle 
somewhere in Somersetshire. Gloine could not tell me the 
exact spot, but it does not matter. The battle has been 
disastrous our side I mean the side to which nearly all 
England wished well, has been routed. There was mis 
management, quarrelling between the leaders : bad general 
ship, I have no doubt ; it was but a beginning of a fight ; 
and then a general route. Our men I mean the Duke's 
were dispersed, surrendered in batches, were cut and shot 
down, and those who fled were pursued in all directions, 
and slain without mercy. What has happened to the Duke 
I do not know, Gloine could not tell me. But Mr. Crymes 
is dead. He passed the coach and saw the soldiers plun 
dering it, and the poor old gentleman had been shot and 
dragged out of it, and thrown on the grass." 

" But Anthony ! " 

" Of him, Gloine could not tell me much. He was greatly 
in favour with the Duke and with Lord Grey. There was 
a considerable contingent of men from Tavistock and the 
villages round, who had been collected by the activity of 
Mr. Crymes and one or two others, whose names we will 
now strive to keep in the background ; and, as Mr. Crymes 
himself was incapacitated by age and infirmity from officer 
ing this band of recruits, Anthony was appointed captain, 
and I am proud to say that our little battalion showed more 
determination, made a better fight, and was less ready to 



882 VRITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

throw away arms and run, than was any other. That is 
whatGloine says." 

" And he can say nothing of Anthony ? " 

" Nothing, Gloine says that when the route was complete, 
he caught a horse that was running by masterless, and 
mounting, rode into Devon, and home as hard as he could, 
but of Anthony he saw nothing. Whether he fell, or 
whether he is alive, we shall not know till others come in ; 
but, Bess, we must not disguise from ourselves the fact 
that, supposing he has escaped with his life, he will stand 
in extreme danger. He has been one of the few gentlemen 
who has openly joined the movement, he has commanded 
a little company drawn from his own neighbourhood, and 
has given the enemy more trouble than some others. A 
price will be set on his head, and if he be caught, he will 
be executed almost certainly. He may return here if alive, 
he probably will do so ; but he must be sent abroad or kept 
in hiding till pursuit is over." 

" O, poor Anthony ! " said Bessie. " Will you tell my 
father?" 

" Not at present. He has his own troubles now. Be 
sides, we know nothing for certain. I will not speak till 
further and fuller news reaches me. But, Bess, you must 
be with him he is not in a state to be left alone. Now, 
may be, iu his broken condition, he may feel your regard 
in a manner he has not heretofore." 

" Heigh, there. Have you heard ? " 

The voice was that of Fox. He came up heated, excited. 

"Heigh, there! Luke, and you, Bess, too? Have you 
heard the tidings? There's our man, Coaker, come back 
came on one of the coach-horses. There has been a pretty 
upset at the end, as I thought. My father is dead the 
soldiers shot him as he sat in the coach, and proceeded to 
turn everything out in search of spoil. What a merciful 
matter," he grinned, without an audible laugh, " that the five 
or six hundred pounds had been lifted on Black Down in 
stead of falling into the hands of the Papist looters ! Aye ? " 

Neither Luke nor Elizabeth answered him. 

" You know that now I am owner of the little estate in 
Buckland," said he, " such as it is a poor, mean scrap 
that remains of what we Crymes 

"You are now a Cleverdon," said Luke, dryly. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 383 

"But not for long. I shall change my name back, if it 
cost me fifty pounds. There is something more that I 
am. I am trustee for Julian till she marries I step into 
my father's place. How do you suppose she will like that ? 
How will she find herself placed under my management ? " 
He laughed. 

"Your father dead," said Luke, "one might expect of 
you some decent lamentation." 

"Oh ! I am sorry, I assure thee ! But Lord ! what else 
could I expect ? And I thank Heaven it is no worse. I ex 
pected him to be drawn to Tyburn, hung, and disembow 
elled as a traitor. I swear to thee, Luke, I was rejoiced to 
hear he died honourably of a shot, since die he must. And 
Anthony dead " 

" Anthony ! Have you heard ? " 

" Nay- I cannot swear. But Coaker says itis undoubted. 
The troopers were in full pursuit of our Tavistock com 
pany of Jack-Fools, cutting them down and not sparing 
one. Anthony cannot escape. If he ran from the field, he 
will be caught elsewhere. If they spitted the common men, 
they will not spare the commanding officer." 

" Poor Anthony ! " sighed Bess. 

"Ay! poor Anthony, indeed, with nothing left at all 
now not even the chance of life ! But never mind poor 
Anthony, Bess ; please to consider me. I know not but 
what now I shall be able at my ease to pay that attorney 
from Exeter if I choose ; but that shall only be to make 
Hall my own, and no sooner has my money passed hands 
than out turns your father. He and I will never be able to 
pull together. He has his notions and I mine. No 
man can serve two masters, as Parson Luke will tell 
thee ; and neither can a land be held by and serve two 
masters, one choosing this and t'other that. No sooner is 
Hall cleared with my money than out walks the old Squire. 
Then you and I Bess " 

" You and I will remain as separate as we are at present," 
answered Elizabeth. " I go with my father. Never will 
I be with you." 

" As you will," said Fox, contemptuously. "Your beauty 
is not such as to make me wish to keep you." 
. " Then so let it be. We have been married, only to 
part us more than ever," said Bess. Then, turning to Luke, 



384 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

she said, "I cannot help myself. I swore with good inten 
tion of keeping my oath, but I cannot even attempt to 
observe it. He " she pointed to Fox, " he has shown me 
how impossible it is." 

Luke did not speak. The words of Fox had made him 
indignant ; but he said nothing, as any words of his he felt 
would be thrown away, and could only lead to a breach 
between him and Fox, in which he must get the worst, as 
unable to retort with the insolence and offensiveness of the 
latter. He looked with wonder at Bessie, and admired 
her quiet dignity and strength. He could see that, with 
all his rudeness to her, Fox stood somewhat in awe of 
her. 

" Yes," said Fox, " Anthony is dead ; I do not affect to 
be sorry, after having received from him a blow that has 
half blinded me a continuous reminder of him." 

"His sister strove to make amends for that yesterday," 
said Luke, unable further to control his wrath. " You then 
demanded of her an atonement far more costly than any 
wrong done you." 

Fox shrugged his shoulders. " A pretty atonement 
when she flouts me, and refuses to follow me." 

Bessie, shrinking from hearing her name used, entered 
the house, and went into her father's room. 

She found the old man there, lying on a long leather 
couch against the wall, asleep. 

She stood watching him for a moment in silence, and 
without stirring. His hair was certainly more grey than 
it had been, and his face was greatly changed, both in ex 
pression and in age. The old hardness had given way, 
and distress pain, such as never before had marked his 
countenance, now impressed it, even in sleep. He had 
probably hardly closed his eyes for many nights, as he 
had been full of anxiety about the fate of Hall, and tho 
success of his scheme for its preservation. The last night 
had been spent in complete and torturing wakefulness. 
Now Nature had asserted her rights ; weary to death, he 
had cast himself on his couch, and had almost immediately 
lost consciousness. 

After observing her father for some little while, Bessie 
stepped lightly back into the passage, closed the door, 
then sought Luke, who was standing before the house with 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 385 

his finger to his lips, a frown on his brows, looking at 
the ground steadily. Fox was gone. 

Bessie touched him, and beckoned that he should follow, 
then led him to her father's parlour, opened the door gently, 
and with a sign to step lightly and keep silence, showed 
him the sleeping Squire. A smile lighted her homely but 
pleasant face ; and then she gave him a token to depart. 

For herself, she had resolved to remain there, her proper 
post now was by her father. She knelt at his couch, with 
out touching him, and never turned an eye from him. In 
her heart swelled up a hope, a belief, that at length the 
old man might come to recognise her love, and to value it. 

An hour then another passed, and neither the sleeper 
nor the watcher stirred ; when suddenly the old man 
opened his eyes, in full wakefulness, and his eyes rested 
on her. He looked at her steadily, but with growing 
estrangement ; then a little hectic colour kindled in his 
pale face, and he turned his head away. 

Then Bessie put her arm under his neck, and drew his 
head to her bosom, pressed it there, and kissed him, say 
ing, 

" My father ! my dear, dear father ! " 

He drew a long and laboured breath, disengaged him 
self from her arms, and putting down his feet, sat up on 
the couch. She was kneeling before him, looking into his 
face. 

" Go " said he, after a while, " I have been hard with 
thee, Bess ! I have done thee wrong." 

She would have clasped and kissed him again, but he 
gently yet firmly put her from him, and yet in so doing 
kept his eyes intently, questioningly, fixed on her. Was 
it to be even as Luke said, that in losing Hall he was to 
find something he had not prized hitherto ? 
25 



386 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

CHAPTER LTV. 

A DAISY. 

As briefly aa may be, we must give some account of the 
venture of Monmouth, which ended in such complete dis 
aster. 

Charles, natural son of Charles II. by Lucy Walters, 
born in 1649, created Duke of Monmouth in 1663 by his fa 
ther, was, as Pepys writes, " a most pretty spark ; " " very 
handsome, extremely well made, and had an air of great 
ness answerable to his birth, " says the Countess D'Aulnay ; 
was his father's favourite son, and for some time it was 
supposed that King Charles H. would proclaim his legiti 
macy and constitute him heir to the Throne. He was 
vastly popular with the nation, which looked up to him as 
the protector of the Protestant religion against the Duke 
of York, whose accession to the Throne was generally 
dreaded on account of his known attachment to the Roman 
Church. James therefore always regarded him with jeal 
ousy and suspicion a jealousy and suspicion greatly 
heightened and intensified by a memorable progress he 
had made in 1680, in the West, when incredible numbers 
flocked to see him. He first visited Wiltshire, and hon 
oured Squire Thynne, of Longleate House, with his com 
pany for some daj's. Thence he journeyed into Somerset 
shire, where he found the roads lined with enthusiastic 
peasants, who saluted him with loud acclamations as the 
champion of the Protestant religion. In some towns and 
villages the streets and highways were strewn with herbs 
and flowers. When the Duke came within a few miles of 
White Ladington, the seat of George Speke, Esq., near 
Ilminster, he was met by two thousand riders, whose 
numbers rapidly increased to twenty thousand. His per 
sonal beauty, the charm of his manners, won the hearts of 
every one, and thus the way was paved for the enthusiastic 
reception he was to receive later when he landed at Lyme, 
in Dorsetshire, as a defender of religion and a claimant for 
the Throne. 

On June 14th, 1680, that landing took place. It had 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 387 

been arranged between him and the Duke of Argyle that 
each should head an expedition with the same end, and 
that a landing should be effected simultaneously, one in 
Scotland, under Argyle, the other in England, under Mon- 
mouth. Money and nearly everything else was wanting, 
and Monmouth was dilatory and diffident of success. But 
finally, two handfuls of men were got together, some arms 
were purchased, and some ships freighted. Argyle sailed 
first, and landed before the Duke of Monmouth, loth to 
tear himself from the arms of a beautiful mistress in 
Brussels, could summon resolution to sail. Argyle was 
speedily defeated and lodged in Edinburgh Castle on June 
20th. Six days before his capture, Monmouth landed in 
Dorsetshire. He had with him about eighty officers and a 
hundred and fifty followers of various kinds, Scotch and 
English. Lord Stair, who had fled from the tyranny of 
James when Duke of York and Commissioner in Scotland, 
did not join the expedition ; but Lord Grey did, an in 
famous man, who was one main cause of its miscarriage. 
The ablest head among the party was that of Fletcher of 
Saltoun, who in vain endeavoured to dissuade the Duke 
from an enterprise which he saw was premature and des 
perate, but from which he Avas too brave and generous to 
withdraw. 

On lauding at Lyme, Monmouth set up his standard, 
and issued a proclamation that he had come to secure the 
Protestant religion, and to extirpate Popery, and deliver 
the people of England from " the usurpation and tyranny 
of James, Duke of York." This was dispersed throughout 
the country, was passed from hand to hand, aud with ex 
traordinary rapidity was carried to the very Land's End, 
raising the excitement of the people, who chafed at the des 
potism of King James II, and were full of suspicion as to 
his purposes. In the Declaration, promises were made of 
free exercise of their religion to all kinds of Protestants of 
whatever sect ; that the Parliament should be annually 
chosen ; that sheriffs should also be annually elected ; that 
the grievous Militia Act should be repealed ; and that to 
the Corporations of the towns should be restored their 
ancient liberties and charters. 

Allured by these promises, the yeomanry and peasantry 
flocked to Monmouth's standard, and had the Duke en- 



388 TJRITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

trusted the volunteers to the direction of a man of talent 
and integrity, it is not impossible that he would have met 
with succesa 

But the infamous Lord Grey was made commander, and 
when, shortly after landing, the Earl of Feversham, a 
French favourite of King James, threw a detachment of 
regular troops into Bridport, some six miles from Lyme, 
and Monmouth detached three hundred men to storm the 
town, Lord Grey, who was entrusted with the command, 
deserted his men at the first brush, and galloping back 
into Lyme, carried the tidings of defeat, when actually the 
volunteers, with marvellous heroism, had accomplished 
their task, and had obtained a victory. 

Monmouth inquired of Captain Matthews, what was to 
be done with Lord Grey. 

Matthews answered as a soldier, "You are the only 
General in Europe who would ask such a question." 

The Duke, however, dared not punish Lord Grey, and 
actually entrusted to him the command of the cavalry, the 
most important arm he had. Having thus given a position 
of trust to the worst man he could, he lost the ablest man 
in his party, Fletcher, who had quarrelled with a Somerset 
shire gentleman about his horse, which led to a duel, in 
which the Somersetshire man was shot, and Fletcher had 
to be dismissed. 

On June 15th, four days after landing, the Duke marched 
from Lyme with a force that swelled to three thousand 
men. He passed through Axminster, and on the 16th was 
at Chard ; thence he marched to Taunton, his numbers in 
creasing as he advanced. At Taunton his reception was 
most flattering ; he was welcomed as a deliverer sent from 
heaven ; the poor rent the air with their joyful acclama 
tions, the rich threw open their houses to him and his fol 
lowers, his way was strewn with flowers, and twenty-six 
young girls of the best families in the town appeared be 
fore Monmouth, and presented him with a Bible. Mon 
mouth kissed the sacred book, and swore to defend the 
truth it contained with his life's blood. 

Here it was that he was met by the detachment from 
Tavistock and its neighbourhood. The men came in singly 
or in pairs, and somewhat later Mr. Crymes appeared in 
bis coach, Anthony was immediately presented to the 



UR1TH: A TALE OF &A8TMOOR. 389 

Duke, who, taken by his manly appearance, at once ap 
pointed him to be captain of the contingent from Tav- 
istock. 

On June 20th Monmouth claimed the title of King. It 
was a rash and fatal mistake, for it at once alarmed his 
followers, and deterred many from joining him. Many of 
those who followed him, or were secretly in his favour, 
still respected the hereditary rights of kingship ; and 
others had a lingering affection for Republican institu 
tions. These two opposite classes were dissatisfied by this 
assumption. Moreover, the partisans of the Prince of 
Orange, already pretty numerous, considered this claim as 
infringing the rights of James's eldest daughter, Mary, 
Princess of Orange, who, by birth and by religion, stood 
next in order of succession. 

On June 22d Monmouth advanced to Bridgewater, 
where he was agained proclaimed King ; and here he 
divided his forces into six regiments, and formed two 
troops out of about a thousand horse that followed him. 

We need not follow his extraordinary course after this, 
marked by timidity and irresolution. 

Few of the gentlemen of the counties of the West joined 
him, and the influx of volunteers began to fail. Discour 
agement took possession of the Duke's spirits ; and, when 
St. Swithin's rains set in before their proper time, not only 
was his ardour, but also that of his followers, considerably 
damped. 

At length, on July 5th, it was resolved to attack the 
Eoyal army, encamped on Sedgmoor, near Bridgewater, 
where the negligent disposition made by Lord Feversham 
invited attack. Here the decisive battle was fought. The 
men following Monmouth's standard showed in the action 
an amount of native courage and adherence to the princi 
ples of duty which deserved better leaders. They threw 
the veteran forces into disorder, drove them from their 
ground, continued the fight till their ammunition failed 
them, and would at last have obtained a victory, had not 
the misconduct of Monmouth and the cowardice or treach 
ery of Grey prevented it. 

In the height of the action, when the fortune of the day 
was wavering, Lord Grey told Monmouth that all was lost 
that it was more than time to think of shifting for him- 



390 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

self. Accordingly, he and Monmouth, and a few other of 
ficers, rode off the field, leaving the poor enthusiasts, with 
out order or instructions, to be massacred by a pitiless 
army. The battle lasted about three hours, and ended in a 
rout. The rebels lost about fifteen hundred men in the 
battle and pursuit ; but the Royal forces had suffered se 
verely. 

Urith sat in the parlour at Willsworthy. She had re 
verted to the stolid, dark mood that had become habitual 
with her. Her hands were in her lap. She was plucking 
at the ring affixed to the broken token, through which 
passed the suspending ribbon. But for this movement of 
the fingers of the right hand she might have been taken 
to be a figure cut out of stone, so still was her face, so 
motionless her figure ; not a change of colour, not a move 
ment of muscle, not a flicker of the eyelid betrayed that 
she was alive aud sentient ; no tears filling the eye, no 
sigh escaping her lips. 

The heat of her brow showed that she was labouring 
under an oppressive sorrow. 

She spoke and acted mechanically when roused into 
action and to speech, and then instantly fell back into her 
customary torpor. Only when so roused did the stunned 
spirit flutter to her eyes, and bring a slight suffusion of 
colour into her face. Next moment she was stone as be 
fore. 

She had been given, by Mrs. Penwarne, some flowers to 
arrange for the table. 

" For his grave ?" asked Urith, " and for my baby." 

She took them eagerly, began to weave them, then they 
fell from her fingers into her lap, and she remained uncon 
scious, holding the stalks. 

The old lady came to her again, and scolded her. 

" There ! there ! this is too bad. Take your token, and 
give me the flowers. I must do everything." 

She put the broken medal again into Urith's hand ; and 
left her, carrying the flowers away. 

Urith was at once back again under her overwhelming 
cloud the ever-present conviction that Anthony was dead, 
and that she had killed him. 

She saw him at every moment of the day, except when 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 391 

roused from her dream, lying across the hearthstone with 
his heart pierced. She had seen a little start of blood from 
the wound, when it was dealt, and thia she saw day and 
night welling up inexhaustibly in tiny wavelets, flowing 
over his side, and falling in a long trickle sometimes con 
nected, sometimes a mere drip upon the hearthstone, and 
then running upon the pavement in a dark line. 

This little rill never dried up, never became full ; it 
pushed its way along slowly, always about the breadth of 
the little finger, and standing up like a surcharged vein, 
hemmed in by grains of dust and particles of flue. Urith 
was ever watching the progress of this rivulet of blood, as 
it stole forward, now turning a little to this side from some 
knot in the floor, then running into a crevice and staying 
its onward progress till it had filled the chink, and con 
verted it into a puddle. She watched it rise to the edge 
of a slate slab, swell above it, tied back, as it were, by 
each jagged in the slate edge, then overleap it, and run 
further. The rill was ever advancing towards the main 
entrance to the hall, yet never reaching it, making its way 
steadily, yet making no actual progress. 

On more than one occasion Urith stooped to remove a 
dead wasp that stood in the way of its advance, or to sop 
up with her kerchief some plash of water which would 
have diluted its richness. 

Now, on the floor, lay a daisy head that had fallen from 
the flower bunch Mistress Penwarne had brought to her 
and then had taken away. Urith's eyes were on the daisy, 
and it seemed to her that the red rill was touching it. It 
was nothing to Urith that she was in the parlour, and that 
Anthony had fallen in the hall. Wherever she went, into 
whatsoever room, into the garden, out on the moor it 
was ever the hall she was in, and the floor everywhere, 
whether of oak boards or of soft turf, or of granite spar, 
was in her eyes the pavement of the hall, and ever over 
that pavement travelled the little thread of blood, groping 
its way, like an earthworm, as endowed with a half con 
sciousness that gave it direction without organs of sense. 

And now on the floor lay the garden daisy-head, and 
towards it the purple-red streamlet was pushing on ; was 
the daisy already touched, and the edges of the fringe of 
petals just tinctured ? Or was its redness due to the 



392 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

reflection on the pure white of the advancing blood ? The 
dye or glow was setting inward, whatever it was, and would 
soon stain the petals crimson, and then sop the golden 
heart and turn it black. 

How long this process would require Urith did not ask, 
for time was nothing to her. But she looked and waited, 
she fancied that she saw the clotting together of the rays, 
and their gradual discoloration as the red liquid rose up 
through the yellow stamens. 

And now the flower-head began to stir and slide over 
the floor, and the blood-streak to crawl after it. 

Urith slowly rose to her feet, and, with bent head, obser 
ving the flower, step by step followed it. There was a 
draught blowing along the floor from a back-door that was 
open, and this stirred and carried forward the light blossom. 
Urith never inquired what moved the daisy ; it was natural, 
it was reasonable, that it should recoil from the scent and 
touch of blood. 

As the daisy-head slid forward now with easy motion, 
now Avith a leap and a skip so did, in Urith's diseased 
fancy, the rill of blood advance in pursuit, always just 
touching it, but never entirely enveloping it. 

Urith stepped forward slowly towards the hall-door and 
opened it, to let the flower-head escape. Had she not 
done so, in a moment the daisy would have been caught, 
and have sopped up the blood like a sponge, lost all its 
whiteness, and become but a shapeless clot in the stream. 

The draught, increased by the opening of the door, car 
ried the little delicate blossom forward rapidly, into the 
hall and along its floor, and after it shot the head of the 
rivulet, pointed, like that of a snake darting on its prey. 
Then the daisy was arrested suddenly ; it had struck 
against an obstruction a man's foot. 

Urith rose from her stooping position, and saw before 
her the man whose foot had stopped the daisy it was An 
thony, standing on the hearthstone. To her dazed sense 
it was nothing that the blood-stream should run in the 
course opposed to that it might have been supposed to 
run, from the parlour to the hall, from the door to the 
hearth. To her mind the ideal hall and the actual hall 
only coincided when they overlapped. 

And now, standing on the actual hearthstone, with the 



URITH: A TALE Of 1 DARTMOOH. 393 

fancied blood-stream running up to, and dancing about 
his foot, was Anthony. 

"Urith!" 

The voice was that of Anthony. 

He had seen Luke, he knew in what condition he might 
expect to find her ; and he had come to the house to see 
her, to let her light unsuspecting on him, in the hopes 
that the surprise might rouse her, and change the tenor of 
her thoughts. 

He looked at her with love and pity in his heart, in his 
eyes, and with a choking in the throat. 

Urith remained standing where she had risen from her 
bowed position, and for a long time kept her eyes stead 
ily fixed on him ; but there was neither surprise nor pleas 
ure in them. 

Presently she said slowly, with a wave of her hand, 
" No ! I am not deceived. Anthony is dead. I killed him." 

Then she averted her face, and at once fell into her 
usual trance-like condition. 



CHAPTER LV. 

FATHER AND SON AGAIN. 

Anthony sat in the house of his cousin Luke, his head in 
his hand. Bessie had come there to see him. She had 
been told of his return, and Luke hud advised her to meet 
him at the parsonage. 

" O Tony ! dear, dear Tony ! I am so glad you are 
back. Now, please God, all things will go better." 

" I do not see any turn yet any possible," said Anthony. 

His tone was depressed, his heart was weighed down 
with disappointment at his inability to rouse Urith. 

" Do not say that, my brother," said Bessie, taking his 
hand between both of hers, " God has been very ^good in 
bringing you safe and sound back to Willsworthy." 

"No exceeding comfort that!" Anthony responded, 
" when I find Urith in such a state. She does not know 
me again." 

"You must not be discouraged," urged Bess. "She 



394 TJRITI1: A TALE Of 1 DARTMOOR. 

has this darkness on her now, but it will pass away as the 
clouds rise from off the moor. We must wait and trust 
and pray." 

"Kemember, Anthony," added Luke, "that she received 
a great shock which has, as it were, stunned her. She re 
quires time to recover from it. Perhaps her reason will 
return gradually, just as you say she herself came groping 
along step by step to you. You must not be out of heart 
because at the first meeting she was strange. Perhaps 
some second shock is needed as startling as the first to re 
store her to the condition in which she was. I have heard 
of a woman thrown into a trance by a flash of lightning, 
unable to speak or stir, and a second thunderstorm, 
months after, another flash, and she was cured, and the 
interval between was gone from her recollection." 

Anthony shook his head. 

" You both say this because you desire to comfort me, 
but I have little expectation, Bess," said he, pressing his 
sister's hand. " God forgive me that I have never hither 
to considered and valued your love to me, but have im 
posed on you, and been rough and thoughtless. One 
must suffer one's self to value love in others." 

His sister threw her arms about his neck, and the tears 
of happiness flowed down her cheeks. "Oh, Tony! this 
is too much ! and father also ! He loves me now." 

"And you, Bess, you have been hardly used. But how 
stands it now betwixt you and Fox? " 

Bessie looked down. . 

" My father forced you to take him ; I know his way, 
and you had not the strength to resist. Good heavens ! I 
ought to have been at your side to nerve you to opposi 
tion." 

" No, Tony, my father employed no force ; but he told 
me how matters stood with regard to Hall, and I was will 
ing to take Fox, thinking thereby to save the estate." 

" And Fox, what is he going to do ? " 

" I cannot tell. Nothing, I think. He says he has the 
money, but he will not pay the mortgage ; and yet I can 
not believe he will allow Hall to slip away. I think he is 
holding out to hurt my father, with whom he is very an 
gry because the state of matters was not told him before 
the marriage." 



URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 395 

"You suffered her to throw herself away?" asked An 
thony, 'turning to Luke. 

"I did wrong," he said. "I ought to have spoken to 
your father, but he had forbidden me the house, and 
but no ! I will make no excuse for myself. I did wrong. 
Indeed indeed, Anthony, among us all there is only one 
who stands blameless and pure and beautiful in integrity 
and that is our dear Bessie. I did wrong, you acted 
wrongly, your father, Fox, all all are blameworthy, but 
she nay ! Bess, suffer me to speak ; what I say I feel, 
and so must all who know the circumstances. The Squire 
must have eyes blinder than those of the mole not to see 
your unselfishness, and a heart harder than a stone not to 
esteem your worth." 

"I pray you," pleaded Bessie, with crimson brow, "I 
pray you, not another word about me." 

" Very well, we will speak no more thereof now," said 
Luke, " but I must say something to Anthony. You, cousin, 
should now make an attempt to obtain your father's for 
giveness." 

" What has he to forgive ? " asked Anthony, impatiently. 
"Are not his own hard-heartedness and his hatred of 
Richard Malvine, the cause of all this misery? " 

"His hard-heartedness and hatred have done much," 
said Luke, "but neither of these is the cause of Urith's 
condition. That is your own doing." 

"Mine?" Though he asked the question, yet he an 
swered it to himself, for his head sank, and he did not 
look his cousin in the face. 

y es _yours," replied Luke. " It was your unfaithful 
ness to Urith that drove her " 

"I was not unfaithful," interrupted Anthony. 

"You hovered on the edge of it sufficiently near infi 
delity to make her believe you had turned your heart away 
from her for another. There was the appearance, if not 
the reality, of treason. On that Fox worked, and wrought 
her into a condition of frenzy in which she was not respon 
sible for what she said and did. From that she has not 
recovered." 

" Curse Fox ! " swore Anthony, clenching his hands. 

"No. rebuke and condemn yourself," said Luke. "Fox 
could have fired nothing had not you supplied the fuel, 



SOG UUIT1I: A TALK OF DARTMOOR. 

Anthony remained with his head bowed on the table. 
He put up his hands to it, and did not speak for some time. 
At last he lowered his hands, laid the palms on the table, 
and said, frankly, " Cousin ! sister ! I am to blame. I con 
fess my fault freely, and I would give the whole world to 
undo the past" 

"Then begin a new life, Tony," said Luke, "by going, 
to your father and being reconciled to him." 

" I cannot. I cannot. How can I forget what he has 
done to Bess ? " 

" And how can your Heavenly Father forgive you your 
trespass if you remain at enmity with your earthly fa 
ther?" said Luke, sternly. "No, Tony, begin aright. Do 
what is clearly your first duty, and then walk forward, 
trusting in God." 

A struggle ensued in Anthony's breast. Then Bess took 
his hand again between her own, and said, "You have been 
brave, Tony, fighting on the battle-field ; now show your 
true courage in fighting against your own pride. Come ! " 
She held his hand still, and drew him after her. She had 
risen. 

"Very well!" said Anthony, standing up. "In God's 
name." 

" He has heard that you are returned," added Bessie. 
" It will be a pleasure to him to see you again." 

On reaching Hall, Elizabeth found her father in his 
room. He was seated at his table, engaged on his accounts, 
turning over the list of sums due to him, reckoning his 
chances of recovering these debts, considering what money 
he could scrape together by cutting down timber, and by 
the sale of stock. He thought that he might raise five or 
six hundred pounds at once, and perhaps more, but the 
time was most unpropitious for a sale. It was the wrong 
season in which to throw oak, and to sell the crops in the 
ground would at that time be ruinous at the prices they 
would fetch. 

When the door opened and Bessie entered with Anthony, 
the old man looked up, and said nothing. His sleep had 
restored his strength, and with it something of his natural 
hardness. His lips closed. 

"Well, father! "said Anthony, "here am I, returned, 
without a shot through me." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 397 

" So I see," said his father, dryly. 

Anthony, disappointed with his reception, was inclined 
to withdraw, but mastered his disappointment, and going 
up to the table, extended his hand, and said, 

" Come, father, forgive me, if I have vexed you." 

Old Cleverdon made no counter-movement. The request 
had been made somewhat coolly. 

" Father ! what did you promise me ? " asked Bessie, her 
heart fluttering between hope and discouragement. " Here 
is Anthony, whose life has been in jeopardy, come back, 
asking your forgiveness, and that is what you required." 
t Then the old man coldly placed his hand in that of his 
son ; but he said no word, nor did he respond to the pres 
sure with which Anthony grasped him. His hand lay cold 
and impassive in that of his son. Then Anthony's cheeks 
flamed, and a sparkle of wrath burnt in his eye. Bessie 
looked up to him entreatingly, and then turned pleadingly 
to her father, and implored him to speak. Anthony did 
not await the word, but drew his hand away. 

"So," said the old man, "you are back. Take care of 
yourself ; you are not yet out of danger." And he took up 
again the papers he had been examining. 

"I am interrupting you," said Anthony; "anything is 
of more interest to you than your own son." 

He would have left the room, but Bessie held him back. 
Then she went up to her father and drew the papers away 
from him. In her fear lest this meeting should prove re- 
sultless she became bold. The old man frowned at her 
audacity, but he said nothing. 

"Father," said Anthony, " I came here as a duty to you, 
to tell you that I ask nothing of you but your forgiveness 
for having been hot-headed in marrying without and against 
your will." 

"I have nothing else to give," answered Mr. Cleverdon. 
" I no longer call this place mine. The place where I was 
born, and for which I have toiled, which I have dreamed 
about, loved I have nothing more, nothing at all." He 
was filled with bitter pity for himself. I, in my destitution, 
must thank you that it has seemed worth while to you 
to come and see me." 

" Father ! " gasped Bessie. 

The old man proceeded : " I cannot forget that all this 



398 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

comes to pass because you disregarded my wishes. Had 
you married Julian, had you even proposed to marry her, 
this could not have happened. It is this," his voice rang 
hard and metallic, and the light in his eye was the glisten 
of a flint ; " it is this that is the cause of all. It brings 
my grey head into the dust. It deprives the Cleverdons of 
a place in the county, it blots them out with a foul smear." 
The pen he had been holding had fallen on a parchment, 
and, with his finger, the old man wiped the blotch and 
streaked it over the surface. 

" I could not marry Julian," said Anthony, with diffi 
culty controlling himself. " A man is not to be driven to 
the altar as is a poor girl." He turned to his sister. "I 
am sorry for your sake that Hall goes not for mine ; I do 
not care for it. It has been the curse that has rested on 
and blasted your heart, father, turning it against your own 
children, marring the happiness of my mother's life, taken 
all kindness and pity out of yours. It is like a swamp that 
sends up pestilential vapours, poisoning all who have aught 
to do with it." 

The old man raised himself in his seat, and stared at him 
with wide-open eyea This was not what he had deemed 
possible, that a child of his, a Cleverdon, should scoff at the 
land on which he was born, and which had nourished him. 

"What has been cast into thankless soil ? "asked Anthony. 
" All good feelings you ever had for my mother, all, every 
thing, has been sacrificed for it. But for Hall, she would 
have never taken you, but have been happy with the man 
of her heart. But for Hall, I would have been better reared, 
in self-restraint, in modesty, and kept to steady work. But 
for Hall, Bess's most precious heart would not have been 
thrown before that that Fox ! Very well, father. I am 
glad Hall goes. When it is gone clean away, I will see 
you again, and then maybe you will be more inclined for 
reconciliation." 

The old man's blood was roused. 

" It is easy to despise what can never be yours. The 
grapes are sour." 

"The grapes were never other than sour," retorted An 
thony, " and have set on edge all teeth that have bitten 
into them. Sister come ! " 

He went out of the door. 



UBITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 399 

CHAPTER LVI. 

EUBYDICE. 

In the hall again, seated in the window, is Urith. The 
window is planted high in the wall, so high, that to look 
out at it a sort of dais must be ascended, consisting of a 
step. On this dais is an ancient Tudor chair, high in the 
seat, as was usual with such chairs, made when floors were 
of slate and were rush-strewn, calculated to keep the feet 
above the stone, resting on a stool. Thus, elevated two 
steps above the floor, to whit, on the dais and the footstool, 
sat Urith as an enthroned queen, but a queen most forlorn, 
deadly pale, with sunken eyes that had become so large as 
to seem to fill her entire face, which remained entirely im 
passive, self-absorbed. 

She made no allusion to Anthony ; after he had with 
drawn, she forgot that she had seen him. His presence 
when before her rendered her uneasy, so that, out of pity 
for her distress, he removed, when at once she sank back 
into the condition which had become fixed. But Anthony 
was again in the hall on this occasion, resolved again to try 
to draw her from her lethargy. 

She sat uplilted in her chair, trifling with a broken token. 
She was swinging it like a pendulum before her, and to do 
this she leaned forward that the ribbon might hang free of 
her bosom. Though her eyes rested on the half-disc, its 
movement did not seem to interest her, and yet she never 
suffered the sway entirely to cease. So soon as the vibra 
tion became imperceptible, she put a finger to the coin and 
set it swinging once more. 

Anthony had seated himself on the dais step, and looked 
up into her face, and, as he looked, recalled how he had 
gazed in that same face on Devil Tor, when he had car 
ried her through the fire. An infinite yearning and tender 
ness came on him. His heart swelled, and he said low, 

but distinct, with a quiver in his voice 

"Urith!" 

She slowly turned her head, fixed her eyes on him, and 
said, "Aye." 



400 URIT1I: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

" Urith ! Do you not know me ? " 

She bad averted her head again. Slowly, mechanically, 
she again turned her face to him, seemed to be gathering 
her thoughts, and then said : 

" You are like Anthony. But you are not he. I can 
not tell who you are." 

" I am your Anthony ! " 

He' caught her .elbow to draw. her hand to him, to kiss it, 
but she started at the touch, shivered to her very feet, so 
as to rattle the stool under them, plucked her arm from 
him, and said quickly : 

" Do not touch me. I will not be touched." 

He heaved a long breath, and put his Land to his 
head. 

" How can you forget me, Urith. Do you not recall how 
I had you in my arms, and leaped with you through the fire, 
on Devil Tor?" 

" I was carried by him he is dead not by you. " She 
looked steadily at him. " No not by you. " 

"It was I ! " he exclaimed, with vehemence. "I set you 
on my horse, dearest. It was I I L Oh, Urith ! do not 
pretend not to know me ! I have been away, in danger of 
my life, and I thought in the battle of you, only of you. 
Urith ! my love ! Turn your eyes on me. Look steadily 
at me. Do you remember how, when I had set you 011 
my horse, I stood with my hand on the neck, and my 
eyes on you. You dazzled me then. My head spun. 
Urith ! dear Urith, then I first knew that you only could be 
mine, that nowhere in the whole world could I find another 
I would care for. And yet whilst I discovered that, I fore 
saw something dreadful, it was undefined, a mere shadow 
and now it has come. Look me in the eyes, my darling ! 
look me in the eyes, and you must know me." 

She obeyed him, in the same mechanical, dead manner 
and said, " I will not thus be addressed, I am no man's 
darling. I was the darling of Anthony once a long time 
ago ; but he ceased to love me ; and he is dead. I killed 
him." 

"Anthony never ceased to love you. It is false. He 
always loved you, but sometimes more than at other times, 
for his self-love rose up and smothered his love for you 
but never for long." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 401 

"Did Anthony never cease to love me? How do you 
know that ? How can you know that ? You are deceiving 
me. " 

"It is true. None know it as I do." 

She shook her head. 

" Listen to me, Urith. Anthony never loved any but 
you. " 

"He had loved Julian," answered Urith. "He had 
from a child, and first love always lasts, it is tough and 
enduring. " 

" No, he never loved her. I swear to you. " 

She shook her head again, but drew a long breath, 
as though shaking oft' something of her load. "I can 
not think you know," she said, after a pause. 

" I knew Anthony as myself. " He caught her hand. 
"I insist look me steadily in the face. " 

She obeyed. Her eyes were without light, her hand 
was cold and shrinking from his touch, but he would not 
let it go. For a while there was symptom of struggle in 
her face, as though she desired to withdraw her eyes 
from him, but his superior will overcame the dim, half- 
formed desire, and then into her eyes came a faint glimmer 
of inquiry, then of vague alarm. 

" Urith ? " 

"It is a long way down," she said. 

" A long way down ? What do you mean ? " 

" I am looking into hell. " 

" What ! through my eyes ? " 

" I do not know ; I am looking, and it goes down deep, 
then deeper, and again deeper. I am sinking, and at last 
I see him, he is far, far away down there in flames." She 
paused, and intensity of gaze came into her eyes. "In 
chains." She still looked, the iris of each orb contracting 
as though actually strained to see something afar off. 
" Parched. " Then she moaned, and her face quivered. 
" All because he loved Julian Avhen he was mine, and I 
shall go there too for I killed him. I do not care. I 
could not be in heaven, and he there. I will be there 
with him. I killed him. " 

Anthony was dismayed. It seemed impossible to bring 
her to recognition. 'But he resolved to make one more 
attempt. 

26 



402 VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

He had let go her hand, and as he withdrew his eyes, 
her head returned to its former position ; and once more 
she began to play with the pendant token. 

Her profile was against the window. The consuming 
internal fire had burnt away all that was earthly, common 
in her, and had etherialised, refined the face. 

" Urith ! " 

" Why do you vex me ? " 

" Turn fully round to me, Urith. What is that in your 
hand?" 

"A token." 

" Who gave it you ? " 

"It belonged to my fathei'." 

" It is broken." 

"Everything is broken. Nothing is sound. Faith 
trust love." She paused between each word, as gathering 
her thoughts. " Every thing is broken. Words promises 
oaths ." Then she looked at the token. " Everything 
is broken. Hearts are broken lives unions nothing 
is sound." 

" Look at this, Urith." 

Anthony drew from his breast the half-token that had 
belonged to his mother, and placed it against that which 
Urith held. 

"See, Urith! they fit together." 

- It was so, the ragged edge of one closed into the ragged 
edge of the other. 

She looked at it, seemed surprised, parted the portions, 
and reclosed them again. 

" Everything broken may be mended, Urith," said An 
thony. "Faith trust love. Do you see? Faith shaken 
and rent may become firm and sound again, and trust may 
be restored as it was, and love be closed fast. Unions a 
little parted by misunderstanding, by errors, may be healed. 
Do you see Urith ? " 

She looked questioningly into his eyes, then back at the 
token, then into his ayes again. 

"Is it so? " she asked, as in a dream. 

" It is so, you see it is so. See this broken half-token 
belonged to your father ; that to my mother. Each had 
failed the other. All seemed lost and ruined forever and 
ever. But it could not be the broken pledge must be 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 403 

made whole, the promises redeemed, the parts must be re 
united and Urith ! they are so in us." 

He caught her by both hands, and looking into her face, 
began to sing, in low, soft times : 

An evening so clear 

I would that I were 
To kiss thy soft cheek 

With the lightest of air. 
The star that is twinkling 

So brightly above 
I would that I might be 

To enlighten my love ! 

A marvellous thing took place as he sang. 

As he sang he saw he saw the gradual return of the 
far-away soul. It was like Orpheus in Hades with his harp 
charming back the beloved, the lost Eurydice. 

As he sang, step by step, nay, hardly so, hair'sbreadth 
by hair'sbreadth, as the dawn creeps up the sky over the 
moor, the spirit returned from the abysses where it had 
lost its way in darkness. 

As he sang, Anthony doubted his own power, feared the 
slightest interruption, the least thing to intervene ^and 
scare the tremulous spirit-life back into the profound 
whence he was conjuring it. 

The soul came, slow as the dawn, and yet, unlike the 
dawn in this, that it came under compulsion. It came as 
the treasure heaved from a mine, responsive to the effort 
employed to lift it ; let that strain be desisted from, and 
it would remain stationary or fall back to where it was be 
fore. 

An explosion of firearms, the crash of broken glass, and 
the rattle of bullets .against the walls. 

Instantly Anthony has leaped to his feet, caught "Urith in 
his arms, and carried her where she was protected by the 
walls, for the bullets had penetrated the window and whizzed 
past her head. 

At the same moment he saw Solomon Gibbs, who plunged 
into the hall, red, his wig on one side, shouting, " Tony ! 
for God's sake, fly ! the troopers are here, sent after you. 
I've fastened the front door. Quick be off. They'll 
string you up to the next tree." 



404 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

He was deafened by blows against the main entrance, 
a solid oak door on stout iron binges let into tbe granite. 
It was fastened by a cross-bar almost a beam that ran 
back into a socket in the jamb, when the door was unbar- 
ricaded. 

" Tony ! not an instant is to be lost. Make off. But by 
the Lord ! I don't know how. They are clambering over 
the garden wall to get at the back door. There are a 
score of them troopers under Captain Fogg." 

Anthony had Urith in his arms. He looked at her, her 
eyes were fixed on him, full of terror, but also intelli 
gence. 

" Anthony ! " she said, " what is it ? Are you in danger ? " 

" They seek my life, dearest. It is forfeit. Never mind. 
Give me a kiss. We part in love." 

" Anthony ! " she clung to him. " Oh, Anthony ! What 
does it all mean ? " 

" I cannot tell you now. I suppose it is over. Thank 
God for this kiss, my love my love." 

The soldiers were battering at the door ; two were up at 
the hall window, ripping and smashing at the panes. But 
there was no possibility of getting in that way, as each 
light was protected by stout iron stanchions. 

"By the Lord! Tony. I'll fasten the back-door!" 
shouted Gibbs. " Get out somehow Urith ! if you have 
wits, show him the trapway. Quick ! not a moment is to 
be lost whilst I bar the back-door." Solomon flew out of 
the hall. 

" Come," said Urith. " Anthony ! I will show you." She 
held his hand. She drew it to hei-, and pressed it to her 
bosom. It touched the broken token and she had his 
half-token in her hand. " Anthony ! when joined to be 
again separate ? " 

They passed behind the main door, whilst the troopers 
thundered against it, pouring forth threats, oaths, and 
curses. They had drawn a great post from the barn over 
agaiust the porch, and were driving this against the door. 
That door itself would stand any number of such blows, 
not so the hinges, or rather the granite jambs into which 
the iron crooks on which the hinges turned were let ; as 
Anthony and Urith went by, a piece of granite started by 
the jar flew from its place, and fell at their feet. Another 



TTRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 405 

blow, and the crook would be driven in, and with it the 
upper portion of the door. 

On the further side of the entrance passage, facing the 
door into the hall, was one that gave access to a room em 
ployed formerly as a buttery. In it were now empty casks, 
old saddles, and a variety of farm lumber, and, amongst 
them that cradle that Anthony had despised, the cradle 
in which Urith had been lulled to her infantine slumbers. 

Urith thrust the cradle aside, stooped, lifted a trap 
door in the wooden-planked floor, and disclosed steps. 

" Down there," she said, " fly be quick grope your 
way along, it runs in the thickness of the garden wall, and 
opens towards the chapel." 

" One kiss, Urith ! " 

They were locked in each other's arms. Then Anthony 
disengaged himself. 

A shout ! The door had fallen in. A shot it had been 
fired through the window by a soldier without who had 
distinguished figures, though seen indistinctly, through 
the cobwebbed, dusky panes of the buttery window. 
Anthony disappeared down the secret passage. Urith put 
her hand to her head a moment, then a sudden idea flashed 
through her brain ; she caught with both arms the cradle, 
and crashed it down the narrow passage, blocking it com 
pletely, and threw back the door that closed the entrance. 

Next moment she and Solomon Gibbs were in the hands 
of the troopers who had burst in. 

" Let go that is a woman ! " called the commanding 
officer. " Who are you ? " This to Mr. Gibbs. " Are you 
Anthony Cleverdon ? You a rebel? " 

" I ! I a rebel ! I never handled a sword in my life," 
answered Mr. Gibbs, without loss of composure ; " but, 
my lads, at a single-stick, I'm your man." 

" Come ! who are you ? " 

"I am a man of the pen, Mr. Solomon Gibbs, attorney," 
answered the old fellow ; " and, master whatever be your 
name, I'd like to see your warrant breaking into a house 
as you have done. I can't finger a sword or a musket, but, 
by Saint Charles the Martyr, I can make you skip and 
squeak with a goose-quill ; and I will for this offence." 

" Search the house," ordered Captain Fogg, the officer 
in command of the party. " I know that the rebel is here ; 



406 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

he has been seen. He cannot have escaped ; he is secreted 
somewhere. Meanwhile keep this lawyer-rascal in custody. 
Here you, madame ! " to Urith " what is your name, 
and who are you ?" 

"I am Anthony Cleverdon's wife." 

" And he where is he ? " 

"Gone." 

" Where is he gone to." 

" I do not know." 

" Who is this fellow in the hands of my men ? " 

"He is my uncle, my mother's brother, Mr. Solomon 
Gibbs." 

" Search the house," ordered the captain. " Madame, if 
we catch your husband, we shall make short work of him. 
Here is a post with which we broke open the door ; we 
will run it out of an upstair window and hang him from 
it." 

" You will not take him ; he is away." 

In the mean time the soldiers had overrun the house. 
No room, no closet, not the attics were unexplored. 
Anthony could not be found. 

" What have we here ? " A couple of troopers had lifted 
the trap and discovered the passage. 

"It is choked," said the captain. "What is that? An 
old cradle thrust away there ? 'Fore heaven ! he can't have 
got off that way, the cradle stops the way. The bird had 
flown before we came up the hill." 



CHAPTER LVH. 

ANOTHER PARTING. 

Immediately after Sedgemoor, a small detachment had 
been sent under Captain Fogg to Tavistock from the Royal 
Army to seek out and arrest, and deal summarily with, 
. such volunteers as had joined the rebels from thence. Not 
only so, but the officer was enjoined to do his utmost to 
obtain evidence as to what gentlemen were disaffected to 
the King in that district ; and to discover how far they 
were compromised in the attempt of Monnjouth. Mr. 



URITH: A TALE Off DARTMOOR 407 

Crymes's papers had been secured in his coach. They con 
tained correspondence, but, for the most part, letters of 
excuse and evasion of his attempt to draw other men of 
position into the rebellion. With the letters were lists of 
the volunteers, and names of those who, it was thought, 
might be induced later to join the movement. 

There existed in the mind of James and his advisers a 
suspicion that the Earl of Bedford, angry at the judicial 
murder of his son, was a favourer of Monmouth, and Cap 
tain Fogg was particularly ordered to find out, if such ex 
isted, proofs of his complicity. 

The part Anthony had taken was too well known for him 
to remain neglected ; and Fogg had been enjoined to seize 
and make short work of him. 

Between two of the tors or granite crags that tower 
above the gorge of the Tavy where it bursts from the moor, 
at the place called The Cleave, are to be seen at the present 
day the massive remains of an oblong structure connecting 
the rocks, and forming a parallelogram. This was standing 
unruined at the time of our story. For whatever purposa 
it may have served originally, it had eventually been con 
verted into a shelter-hut for cattle and for shepherds. 

'There was a doorway, and there were narrow loophole 
windows ; the roof was of turf. At one end, against the 
rock, a rude fireplace had been constructed ; but there was 
no proper chimney the smoke had to find its way as best 
it might out of a hole in the roof above, which also ad 
mitted some light and a good deal of rain. A huge castle 
of rock in horizontal slabs walled off the hut from the north, 
and gave it some shelter from the storms that blew thence. 
There was a door to the opening that could be fastened, 
which was well, as it faced the southwest, whence blew the 
prevailing wind laden with rain ; but the windows were un- 
glazed they were mere slots, through which the wind 
entered freely. The floor was littered with bracken, and 
was dry. The crushed fern exhaled a pleasant odour. 

Outside the hut, in early morning, sat Anthony with 
Urith among the rocks, looking down into the gorge. The 
valley was full of white mist, out of which occasionally a 
grey rock thrust its head. Above the mist the moor-peaks 
and rounded hills glittered in the morning sun. 

Anthony sat with his arm about Urith ; he had drawn 



URITJI: A TALK OF DARTMOOR. 

her head upon his breast, and every moment he stooped to 
kiss it. Tears were in her eyes tears sparkling as the 
dewdrops on bracken and heather tears of happiness. 
The dusky shadows of the past had rolled away : a shock 
had thrown her mind off its balance, and a shock had re 
stored it. What led to that brief period of darkness, what 
occurred during it, was to her like a troubled dream of 
which no connected story remained only a reminiscence 
of pain and terror. She knew now that Anthony loved 
her, and there was peace in her soul. He loved her. She 
cared for nothing else. That was to her everything. 
That he was in danger she knew. How he had got into it 
she did not dare to inquire. But one thought filled her 
mind and soul, displacing every other he loved her. 

It was so. Anthony did love her, and loved her alone. 
When he was away in the camp, on the march, in the 
battle-field his mind had turned to Urith and his home. 
Filled with anxiety about her from what he had heard from 
Mr. Cryrnes, he had become a prey to despair ; and, if he 
had fought in the engagement of Sedgemoor with des 
perate valour, it had been in the hopes of falling, for he 
believed that no more chance of happiness remained to 
him. 

After his escape, an irresistible longing to see Urith 
once more, and learn for certain how she was, and how she 
regarded him, had drawn him to Willsworthy. And now, 
that she was restored to him in mind and heart, he stood, 
perhaps, in as great peril as at any time since he had joined 
the insurgents. He knew this, but was sanguine. The 
vast extent of the moor was before him, where he could hide 
for months, and it would be impossible for an enemy to 
surprise him. Where he then was, on the cliffs above the 
Tav} r , he was safe, and safe within reach of home. No one 
could approach unobserved, and opportunities of escape 
lay ready on all sides a thousand hiding-places among 
the piles of broken rock, and bogs that could be put be 
tween himself and a pursuer. Nevertheless, he could not 
remain for ever thus hiding. He must escape across the 
seas, as he was certain to be proscribed, and a price set on 
his head. That he must be with Urith but for a day or 
two he was well aware, and every moment that she was 
with him was to him precious. She did not know this ; 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 409 

she thought she had recovered him for ever, and he did 
not undeceive her. 

Now he began to tell her of his adventures of how he 
had joined the Duke, and been appointed Captain of the 
South Devon band ; of how they had been received in 
Taunton ; how they had marched to Bristol, and almost 
attacked it ; and then of the disastrous day at Sedge- 
moor. 

"Come ! " said Anthony, "let us have a fire. With the 
mists of the morning rising, the smoke from the hut will 
escape notice." 

The air of morning was cold. 

Holding Urith still to his side, he went with her into the 
hut. It was without furniture of any sort. Blocks of 
stones served as seats ; but there was a crook over the 
hearth, and an iron pot hanging from- it. A little collec 
tion of fuel stood in a corner heather, furze-bushes, dry 
turf that had been piled there by a shepherd in winter, 
and left unconsumed. 

Urith set herself to work to make a fire and prepare. 
They were merry as children on a picnic, getting ready for 
a breakfast. Urith had brought up what she could in a 
basket from Willsworthy, and soon a bright and joy-in 
spiring fire was blazing on the hearth. 

Anthony rolled a stone beside it and made Urith sit 
thereon, whilst he threw himself in the fern at her feet, 
and held her hand. They talked watching and feeding 
the fire, and expecting the pot to boil. They did not laugh 
much, they had no jokes with each other. Love had ceased 
to be a butterfly, and was rather the honey-bearing bee, 
and the honey it brought was drawn out of the blossoms 
of sorrow. 

To Urith it gave satisfaction to see how changed An 
thony was from the spoiled, wayward, dissatisfied fellow 
who had thought only of himself, to a man resolute, tender, 
and strong. As she looked at him, pride swelled in her 
heart, and her dark eyes told what she felt. But a little 
time had passed over both their heads, and yet in that 
little while much had been changed in both. How much 
in herself she did not know, but she marked and was glad 
to recognise the change in him. 

As they talked, intent in each other, almost unable to 



410 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

withdraw their eyes from each other, the door opened, and 
Mr. Solomon Gibbs entered. 

" There ! there I " said he, " a pretty sharp watch you 
keep. You might have been surprised for aught of guard 
you kept." 

"Come here," said Anthony; "sit by the fire and tell 
me what is being done below." 

Mr. Solomon Gibbs shook his head. " You cannot re 
main here, Tony ; you must be off over the seas and I 
will take care of Urith, and have the windows patched at 
Wills worthy." 

" I know I must," said Anthony, gloomily, and he took 
TJrith's hand and drew it round his neck ; never had she 
been dearer to him than now, when he must part from 
her. 

" Oh ! uncle ! " exclaimed Urith, " he must not indeed 
go hence now that he has returned to me." 

"I am safe here for a while," said Anthony, and he 
pressed his lips to Urith's hand. 

" Can you say that, with the rare look-out you keep ? " 
asked Mr. Gibbs. Then he gazed into the fire, putting up 
his hand and scratching his head under the wig. He said 
no more for a minute, but presently, without looking at 
Anthony, he went on. "Those fellows under their Captain 
Fogg is his name are turning the place upside down ; 
they have visited pretty nigh every house and hovel in 
quest of rebels, as they call them. The confounded nuis 
ance is that they have a list of the young fellows who went 
from these parts. As fast as any of them come home, if 
they have escaped the battle, they drop into the hands of 
the troopers." 

Anthony said nothing, he was troubled. TJrith's large 
dark eyes were fixed on her uncle. 

" The Duke of Monmouth has been taken, I hear ; he 
hid in a field, in a ditch among the nettles. No chance 
for him. His Majesty, King James, will have no bowels 
of compassion for such a nephew. For the Protestants of 
England there is now no hope save in the Prince of 
Orange." 

Then Uncle Solomon put his hand round behind An 
thony and nudged him, so as not to attract the attention 
of Urith. 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 411 

"And whilst we are waiting we may be consumed," 
said Anthony. 

Then Solomon nudged Anthony again, and winked at 
him, and made a sign that he desired to have a word with 
him outside the door. 

" 'Fore Heaven, Tony ! " said he, " we are as careless as 
before. I who bade you keep a watch have forgotten my 
self in talking with you. Go forth, lad, and cast a look 
about thee." 

Anthony rose from the fern, and went to the door. He 
stood in it a moment, looking from side to side, then closed 
the door, and went further. 

Mr. Gibbs took off his wig and rubbed his head. "The 
mist in the valley ha taken the curl out, Urith. I wish 
3'ou would dry my wig by the blaze, and I will clap my 
hat on and go out and help Anthony to see from which 
quarter the wind blows, and whether against the wind mis 
chief comes." 

Then he also went forth. 

Urith at once set herself to prepare the food for break 
fast ; her heart was heavy at the thought of losing Anthony 
again as soon as she had recovered him, when all the love 
of their first passion had rebloomed with, if not greater 
beauty, yet with more vigour. 

When Anthony re-entered the hut, he was alone, very 
pale, and graver than before ; Urith saw him as he passed 
the ray of light that entered from one of the loop-holes, 
and she judged at once that some graver tidings had been 
given him than Uncle Sol had cared to communicate in 
her presence. 

She uttered a half-stifled cry of fear, and started to her 
feet. " O Anthony ! What is it ? Are the soldiers draw 
ing near ? " 

" No, my darling, no one is in sight." 

" But what is it, then ? Must I lose you ? Must you go 
from hence ? " 

She threw herself on his breast and clung to him. 

"Yes, Urith, I must go. You must be prepared to lose 
me." 

"But I shall see you again soon? " 

" We shall certainly meet again." 

She understood that he was no longer safe there, that 



412 URITH: A TALK OF DARTMOOR. 

he must fly further, and that she could not accompany him 
on his flight ; but her heart could not reconcile itself to 
this conviction. 

He spoke to her with great affection, he stroked her 
head, and kissed her, and bade her take courage and gath 
er strength to endure what must be borne. 

" But, Tony ! for how long ? " 

" I cannot say." 

" And must you cross the seas?" 

He hesitated before he answered. "I must go to a 
strange land," he replied in a low tone, and bowed his 
head over hers. She felt that his hand that held her head 
was trembling. She knew it was not from fear, but from 
the agony of parting with her. She strove to master her 
despair when she saw what it cost him to say " Farewell " 
to her. If she might not share his fate, she could save it 
from being made more heavy and bitter by her tears and 
lamentations. 

"Tony," she said, "you gave me that other half-token, 
take it again ; hang ii about your neck as a remembrance 
of me, and I will wear the other half wherever we may 
be, you or I, it is to each only a half, a broken life, an im 
perfect life, and life can never be full and complete to 
either again till we meet." 

" No," he said, and took the token, " no, only a half life 
till we meet." 

He hung the ribbon round his neck, and placed the half 
token in his breast. Then he said : 

" I must go at once, Urith. Come with me a part of the 
way. Uncle Sol will take you from me." 

They left the hut together. Urith pointed to the food, 
but Anthony's appetite was gone. He drew her to his 
side, and so, silently, folded together with interlaced arms, 
they walked over the dewy short grass without speaking. 
After a while they reached a point where Solomon Gibbs 
was awaiting them, a point at which their several ways 
parted. 

There Anthony staved his feet. Overcome by her grief 
Urith again cast herself into his arms. He put his hands 
to her head and thrust it back, that he might look into 
her eyes. 

"Urith!" he said, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 413 

" Yes, Anthony ! " She raised her eyes to his. 

He was pale as death. 

" Urith, your forgiveness for all the sorrow I have 
caused you." 

" Oh, Anthony ! " she clung to him, quivering with emo 
tion. " It is I it is I who must " 

"We have been neither of us free from blame. One 
kiss a last in token of perfect reconciliation." 

A kiss that was long which neither liked to conclude 
but Anthony at length drew his lips away. 

" We shall meet again," he said, " and then to part no 
more." 



CHAPTER LVHI. 

ON THE WAY TO DEATH. 

Anthony had seen Urith for the last time. They would 
meet again only in Eternity. Though the moor was wide 
before him and he was free to escape over it, yet he 
might not fly. Captain Fogg had taken his father prisoner, 
had conveyed him to Lydford Castle, which he made his 
headquarters, and had given out that, unless Anthony 
Cleverdon the younger, the rebel, who had commanded the 
insurgent company from the neighbourhood of Tavistock, 
surrendered himself within twentj'-four hours, he would 
hang the old man from the topmost window of the castle 
keep. 

This was the tidings that Mr. Solomon Gibbs had brought 
to Anthony. Mr. Gibbs made no comment on it, he left 
Anthony to act on what he heard unpersuaded by him, to 
sacrifice himself for his father, or else to let the old man 
suffer in his stead. 

There could be little doubt that Squire Cleverdon had 
done his utmost to forfeit the love of his children. 

All the unhappiness that had fallen on Anthony, Urith, 
and Bessie was due in chief measure to his pride and 
hardness of heart ; nevertheless, the one great fact re 
mained that he was the father of Anthony, and this fact 
constituted an ineradicable right over the son, obliging 
him to do his utmost to save the life of his father. 



414 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

Moreover, the old man was guiltless of rebellion. An 
thony's life was forfeit, because he had borne arms against 
his rightful sovereign, and his father had not compromised 
his loyalty in any way. Anthony had never, as a boy, en 
dured that a comrade should be punished for his faults, 
and could he now suffer his father to be put to death for 
the rebellious conduct of the son ? 

Not for one moment did Anthony hesitate as to his 
duty. But a struggle he did undergo. He thought of 
Urith. He had sinned against her, led astray by his 
vanity and love of flattery ; and, after having suffered, he 
had worked his way to a right mind. And at the very 
moment of reunion, when his love and exultation over his 
recovered wife shot up like a flame at that very moment 
he must pronounce his own sentence of death ; at the 
moment that he had felt that she forgave him, and that 
all was clear for beginning a new and joyous life together, 
he must be torn from her, and exchange the pure and 
beautiful happiness just dawning on him for a disgraceful 
death, and the grave. 

He knew that Urith's grief over his death would be 
intense, and, maybe, bring her down almost into the dust ; 
but he knew, also, that the day would come when she 
would acknowledge that he had acted rightly, and then 
she would be proud of his memory. On the other hand, 
were he to allow his father to die in his room, he would 
remain for ever dishonoured in his own sight, disgraced 
before the world, and would lose the respect of his 
wife, and with loss .of respect her love for him would 
also go. 

The worst was over : he had bidden her farewell without 
betraying to her that the farewell was for ever. He took his 
way to Lydford, there to hand himself over to the Royal 
officers. 

He had not left the moor, but was on the highway that 
crosses an outlying spur of it, when he suddenly en 
countered Julian Crymes. 

Julian had heard of the return of Anthony before Cap 
tain Fogg and his soldiers arrived. She heard he was at 
"Willsworthy, but he had not been to see her ; and yet he 
had an excellent excuse for so doing he must be able to 
tell her about her father. She had waited impatiently, 



VHITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 415 

hourly expecting him, and he had not come. She did not 
like to leave the house for a minute, lest he should come 
whilst she was away. Every step on the gravel called her 
to the window, every strange voice in the house caused her 
heart to bound. Why did not he come ? 

She went to the window of her little parlour and looked 
forth ; and as she looked, her hot, quick breath played over 
the glass, and in so doing brought out the interwoven ini 
tials "A" and "U." They had long ago faded, and yet 
under the breath they reappeared. 

When she had heard a rumour of his return, the life blood 
had gushed scalding through her veins, her eye had flashed, 
and her cheek flamed with expectation. Her father was 
dead, but the sorrow she felt for his loss was swallowed up 
in the joy that Anthony was home and in safety. Now 
all was right again, and in glowing colours she imaged to 
herself their meeting. She could hardly contain the ex 
ultation within ; yet her reason told her that he could be 
no nearer to her than he was ; he was still bound to Urith. 
The reproaches of Bess had stung her, but the sting was no 
longer felt when she heard that he was back. 

But as she breathed on the window-pane, and first the 
interwoven initials "A" and "U" reappeared, and then the 
smirch where Anthony had passed his hand over her own 
initials linked to his, it sent a curdle through her arteries. 
He came not near her. He loved her no more he had 
forgotten her. Little by little the suspicion entered, and 
made itself felt, that he did not love her. It became a con 
viction, forming as an iron band about her heart, rivetted 
with every hour, firmer, contracting, becoming colder. 
She was too haughty to betray her feelings, and she had 
not suffered a question relative to Anthony to pass over 
her lips. 

Then she heard that Captain Fogg had arrived, and was 
searching the neighbourhood for Anthony, and was arrest 
ing every returned insurgent. The Captain visited Kil- 
worthy, and explored the house for treasonable correspond 
ence, but found none. 

The anxiety and alarm of Julian for the safety of An 
thony became overmastering. She could no longer endure 
imprisonment in her own house. Moreover, there was 
now no need for her to remain there. Anthony was in 



416 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

hiding somewhere, or he was taken she knew not which 
and could not come to her. 

She had not slept all night, and when morning dawned 
she rode forth, unattended, to obtain some tidings about 
him. She would not go to Willsworthy. She could not 
face Urith, but she would hover about between Willswor 
thy and Hall, and wait till she could hear some news con 
cerning him. 

In this restless, anxious condition of mind, Julian 
Crymes was traversing the down when she lit on Anthony 
himself. 

She greeted him with an exclamation of joy, rode up to 
him, sprang from her horse, and said, " But surely, Tony ! 
this is reckless work coming on to the highway when they 
seek thy life." 

"They will not have long to seek," said he. 

" What do you mean ? " 

He made no answer, and strode forward to pass her, and 
continue his course to Lydford. 

"Anthony ! " exclaimed Julian, "you shall not meet and 
leave me thus. I have not seen you since your return." 

"I cannot stay now." 

" But you shall ! " She threw herself in his road, hold 
ing the reins of her horse with one hand, and extending 
her whip in the other. " Anthony ! what is the meaning 
of this?" 

"I must pass," said he, stepping aside to circumvent 
her. 

" Anthony ! " she cried there was pain and despair in 
her tone "where are you going? and why will you not 
speak to me ? " 

He stood still for a moment, and looked steadily at her ; 
then she saw how pale he was. 

"Julian," said he, quietly, "you have acted towards me 
in a heartless " 

" Heartless, Tony ! " 

"In an utterly cruel manner, and have brought me to 
this. It was you who sowed the seeds of strife between 
Urith and me ; you who drove her off her mind ; you who 
forced me to leave home and go to the standard of the 
Protestant Duke ; and it is you now who bring me to the 
gallows." 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 417 

" The gallows ! " 

"The captain at the head of the troopers has taken my 
father, and threatens to hang him within a day unless I 
surrender to the same fate." 

"But, Anthony!" She could hardly speak, she was 
trembling, and her colour flying about her face like storm- 
driven cloudlets lit by a setting sun, red and threatening. 
" Anthony ! not to to death ? " 

" To death, Julian ! " 

She uttered a cry, let go the bridle, dropped her whip, 
and ran to him with extended arms. " Anthony ! O 
Anthony ! " 

He put forth his hand and held her from him. No ; not 
on his breast where his Urith had just lain, that should 
never be touched by another not by such another as Ju 
lian Crymes. 

" Stand back," he said, sternly. 

" Anthony ! say you love me ! You know you have 
have always loved me." 

"I never loved you, Julian. No never." 

She shook herself free, drew back, pressed her clenched 
fists against her bosom. "You dare to tell me that 

you ! " 

" I never loved you," he said. 

Her face became white as that of a corpse. She drew 
on one side and said, " Go and may you be hanged ! I 
hate you. I would I were by to see you die." 



CHAPTER LIX. 

A LAST CHANCE. 

Julian was left alone. She watched Anthony depart, till 
he had disappeared round a turn of the road and a fall of 
the hill ; then she cast herself upon the heather in a par 
oxysm of agony. She drove her fingers into the bushes 
of dwarf gorse, and the needles entered her flesh and drew 
the blood ; but she heeded it not. The rough heather was 
against her cheek, a storm of sobs and tears shook and 
wetted the harsh, dry flowers. He did not love her ! He 
37 



418 URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

never had loved her ! She had fought against this convic 
tion that, like a cold, gliding snake, had stolen into her 
heart and dripped its poison there. 

Now she could resist it no more. It was not told her by 
Bessie it was not a new conjecture formed on certain 
scribblings on the glass ; it had been proclaimed by his 
own lips, and at a solemn moment when he would not lie 
when he was on his way to death. 

He had trifled with her heart, and he dared to reproach 
her ! She had loved him before ever he had known Urith, 
and then he had shown her attention. Had she mistaken 
that attention for love ? Had not her own flaming passion 
seen in the reflection it called up in him a real reciprocal 
flame? 

After he was married she could not hide from her con 
science that she had made a struggle to win back his heart 
had disregarded the counsels of prudence and the teach 
ings of religion in the furious resistance she had offered to 
the established fact that he had been given to another, and 
belonged to that other. 

He did not love her ! He never had loved her ! And 
his life had been to her precious only because she loved 
him, and believed that he loved her. 

She drew herself up in the heather ; her cheeks were 
flaming, scratched by the heather branches, and her hair 
dishevelled. Her great dark eyes were like a storm-cloud 
full of rain, and yet with fire twinkling and flashing out of 
it He was on his way to death. He would be no more 
in this life to be fought for, to be won by her or by frith. 

"I am glad he is going to die ! " she cried, and laughed. 
Then she threw herself again on the ground in another 
convulsive fit of sobs. 

Urith had won. She Julian, had dared her to the 
contest for the prize. Each had come off ill ; but Urith 
had gained the object gained it only to lose it won An 
thony's heart, only to have it broken as her own brain waa 
broken. 

"It is well," moaned Julian, catching at the tufts of 
heath and tearing at them, but unable either to break them 
or root them up. "It is well! I would never have suf 
fered her to regain him. I would have killed her ! " 

Rage and disappointment tore her, as the evil spirit tore 



UR1TH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 419 

the possessed under Tabor, and finally left her, exhausted 
and sick at heart. A cool air came down off the moor and 
fanned her hot cheek, and dried the tears that moistened 
them. 

A few hours perhaps only an hour and Anthony would 
be dead. She saw the gallows set up below Lydford Castle, 
and Anthony brought forth, in his shirt ; his eyes band 
aged ; his hands bound behind his back. She heard the 
voices of the soldiers, and the hum of compassion from the 
bystanders. She saw the rope fastened about his neck, and 
cast over the crosstree of the gallows. Then one of the 
soldiers leaped, and caught the free end of the rope, and 
began to haul at it. Julian uttered a cry of horror, strug 
gled to her knees, clasped her palms over her eyes, as 
though to shut out a real sight from them, and swayed 
herself to and fro on her knees. 

The black 'kerchief, with the jerk, fell from his eyes, and 
he looked at her. Julian threw up her hands tp heaven, 
and screamed, with horror, " My God, save him ! " 

Then she saw, indistinctly, through her tears, and out of 
her horror-distended eyes, some one standing before her. 
She could not see who it was ; but, overmastered by her 
terror, she cried, "Save him ! Save him ! " 

" Julian ! " said a voice ; and it had a composing effect at 
once on her disordered feelings. 

" Bess ! O, Bess ! is that you ? O, Bessie ! do you 
know ? He has given himself, up. Anthony ! Anthony ! " 
She cowered no more ; her bosom labored, and she bowed 
herself, with her head in her lap, and wept again. 

Bessie put her hand under her arm, and raised her. 

" Stand up, Julian. I did not know it ; but I was 
quite sure he would 'do this. I am glad he has. It was 
right." 

"Bess, you are glad?" 

" It is like himself ; he has done right. He is my own 
dear, dear Anthony." 

" O Bess ! such a death ! " 

" The death does not dishonour ; to live would have dis 
honoured. He has done right." 

"He has betrayed my love!" gasped Julian, "and I 
should be glad he died, yet I cannot bear it. Indeed 
indeed, I cannot. Bess ! I would that it were I who was 



420 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

to die not he. Bess ! will they take me and let him go ? 
He has been false to me, and I am true to him." 

" He has not been false to you," said Bessie ; " he has 
come to a sense of the wrong course he was engaged in, 
into which you drew him. But he never was false to you, 
for he never cared for you. Come ! poor unhappy girl. I 
know how full of sorrow you must be so must all who 
love Tony." 

" But, Bess ! is there no way of saving him ? " 

Elizabeth shook her head, and said : 

" I do not suppose so. It is true that Gloine has got off, 
and there is a whisper that his uncle saw the captain, and 
some money passed, but- 



" Oh ! if money were all- 



"But, remember, Gloiue was only a common soldier, 
and Anthony was the captain who led the men from these 
parts. I do not think any money could save him." 

"Let us try." Julian sprang to her feet. 

"Where is money to be had? Enough, I mean. You 
know the state we are in." 

"But Fox has it." 

" Fox !" Bessie considered ; then, turning colour, said, 
" I do not think that even to save Anthony's life I would 
ask a favour of Fox." 

" Then I will. He can and must save Anthony. Where 
is he ? " 

" At Hall. He has gone over there ; that is why I left, 
and I was on my way to Willsworthy when I saw your 
horse ; I caught him by the bridle, I knew whose it was, 
and came in search of you. I feared some accident. But, 
Julian, I am very certain nothing can be done for Anthony, 
save by our prayers. I have heard that special orders were 
issued that he was to be hung. The captain came here on 
purpose to take and execute him. He cannot, he dare not 
spare him." 

" O Bess ! we will try ! " 

" Prayer alone can avail," said Bessie, sadly. 

" Come with me. Come back to Hall. You must be 
with me. I will see Fox. He alone can help us." 

" I will go with you," said Bessie. " But I know that it 
is hopeless." 

" He must be saved. He must not die ! " gasped Julian. 



TTRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 421 

She remounted her horse, mechanically,- and Bessie 
walked at her side. 

Julian said no more. She was a prey to conflicting 
emotions. A little while ago she had wished Anthony's 
death, and now she was seeking to save it. If she did suc 
ceed in saving it, it was for whom? Not for herself. He 
did not love her he never had loved her. For Urith for 
her rival, her enemy ! She knew that Urith was in a 
strange mental condition. She did not know that she was 
recovered from it. But she gave no heed to the state in 
which Urith was. She thought of her as she had seen her, 
handsome, sullen, defiant. That was the girl Anthony had 
preferred to herself, and she would save Anthony to give 
him to the arms of Urith, that Urith might take him by the 
neck, and cover his face with kisses, and weep tears of joy 
on his breast. Julian set her teeth. Better that he should 
die than this ! But, next moment, her higher nature pre 
vailed. She had loved Anthony she did love Anthony 
and true love is unselfish. She must forget herself, her 
own wrongs, real or imagined, and do her utmost for him. 
How could she love him, and let him die an ignominious 
death ? How could she let him die, when, by an effort, she 
might save him, and bear to live an hour longer? She 
would feel as though his blood lay at her door. 

" Bessie, I cannot stay. You walk. I must ride on as 
fast as I can. Time must not be wasted. Every moment 
is important." 

Then she struck her horse, and galloped in the direction 
of Hall. Her hair, wild and tangled, flew about her ears. 
Her hands were full of gorse-spikes, and every pressure on 
the bridle made the pain great, but she did not regard this. 
Her mind was tossed with waves of contrary feeling, and 
yet, as in a storm, when the surges seem to roll in every 
direction, there is yet a prevailing set, so was it now. 
There had been a conflict in her heart, but her nobler, 
truer nature had won the day. 

As she drew up in the courtyard of Hall, Fox came out, 
and uttered an exclamation of surpi'ise at seeing her. 

He was in a high condition of excitement. Without 
waiting to hear her speak, he burst forth into a torrent of 
complaint. 

" I will have the law of them soldiers though they be, 



422 VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

and with a search-warrant, they are not entitled to rob 
we have been treated as though we were foreigners, and 
subjected to all the violence of a sack. They have torn 
open every cupboard, broken into every drawer and cabinet, 
thrown the books and letters about I can find nothing, 
and what is worst, I cannot lay my hands on the money. 
To-morrow is the last day, to-morrow the mortgage must 
be paid, and I know that my father-in-law had some coin 
in the house. By the Lord ! I wonder whether he had 
the wit to secrete it somewhere, or left it where any plun 
derer would go straight in quest of it. And he is to be 
hanged in an hour, and I cannot ask him." 

" Fox, it is not true ; Master Cleverdon escapes." 

"I know he will be hanged, and I do not suppose that 
set of ruffians will let me see him and find out where the 
money is. I have searched everywhere, and found nothing 
but broken cabinets and overturned drawers, account- 
books, title-deeds, letters, bills, all in confusion along with 
clothing. It drives me mad. And unless the money be 
forthcoming to-morrow, Hall is lost. I have heard that the 
agent of the Earl of Bedford will offer a price for it and 
that there is like to be another offer from Sir John Morris. 
They would out-bid me. The mortgage must be paid, or 
Hall lost, and if the old man be hanged to-day, Hall is 
mine by this evening. It will drive me crazed where can 
the money be ? He was fool enough for anything to put 
it in his cabinet, or in a box under his bed, or in the chim 
ney, tied in an old nightcap like as would have done any 
beldame. If he has done that then the soldiers have 
taken it. Who was to interfere ? Who to observe them ? 
They drove all the servants out. They took the Squire in 
custody, and I was not here. I was at Kilworthy, as you 
know." 

" Fox," said Julian. " It is no matter to me whether 
Hall be saved or lost. Anthony has surrendered, and the 
Squire is free." 

"Anthony surrendered!" Fox fell back and stared at 
her, then laughed. " 'Fore heaven ! we live in crack- 
brained times when folk take a delight in running their 
heads into noo'ses. There was ray father did his best to 
get hung, drawn, and quartered. A merciful Providence 
sent him into the other world with a bullet in his heart, 



URITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 423 

and saved the honour of the family, and made a more easy 
exit for him. And now there is Tony runs to the gibbet 
as though to a May-dance ! Verily ! there are more fools 
than hares. For them you must hide the snare, for the 
fools expose it, cross-piece, loop, and rope, and all complete, 
and ring a bell and call come and be hanged ! Come ! " 

"Fox, we must save Anthony." 

"Save him? Why, he will not be saved ! He had the 
world before him, and he might have run where he would ; 
now he has gone where he ought not, and must take the 
consequences. Save him ! Let him be hanged. I want his 
father. I want to know what money he has, and where it 
is. I can't find the whole amount. I know he has, or had, 
some hundreds of sovereigns somewhere." 

" Fox, you must assist me to save Anthony ; we cannot 
let him die. I will not ! I will not ! He must not die ! " 
Her passion overcame her, and she burst into tears. 

"Pshaw! He is past salvation. If he is in the hands of 
Captain Fogg, he is in a trap that has shut on him and will 
not let him go. Besides nothing can be done." 

" Yes, there can. Gloine escaped. His uncle, the rich 
old yeoman at Smeardon, bought him off." 

"No money will buy Anthony off. Besides, where is 
the money to come from ? " 

" You have some. Fogg let off Gloine, and he will let 
Anthony off if he be paid a sufficient sum. If he was a 
rascal in small game, he will be rascal in great." 

"I do not care to have Tony escape ; I owe him a grudge.. 
Besides, and that is just as well, his father is not here ; what 
money the old fellow has is hidden in some corner or other, 
where I cannot find it, unless it has been carried off by 
those vultures, those rats." 

" If this is not available you must help." 

" I ! pshaw ! I cannot, and I will not." 

"You can ; you have a large sum at your disposal." 

Fox turned mottled in face. He stared at his sister with 
an uneasy look in his eye. 

"What makes you suppose that?" he said. "It is a 
folly ; it is not true. I am poor as the yellow clay of North 
Devon. No small sum would serve, and I have but a couple 
of groats and a crown in my pouch." 

" You have the money ; you yourself admitted it, two 



424: URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

minutes ago. You said that if you could find the money 
Squire Cleverdou had laid by, you would be able to make 
up the rest." 

" Oh ! that was talk ! I would mortgage my Buckland 
estate." 

" You have the money. Fox, this is evasive." 

" What will satisfy you ? Here is a crown, and here two 
groats, and, by Heaven there is a penny as well. Take 
this and go try your luck with Captain Fogg." 

" I will have nothing under five hundred pounds. Fox, 
you can help me, and you will." 

" I have not the coin. If I had I would not spare it. I 
will not throw Hall away. What is Tony to me ? If he 
puts his neck into the noose, who is to blame if the rope 
be pulled .and he dangles ? No ; here is the extent of my 
help a crown, two groats, and one penny." 

" Fox ! I will sell you all my rights in Kilworthy. I 
will make over to you everything I have there land, house 
all all if you will give me five hundred pounds in gold." 

Fox looked down, considered, then shook his head. 

" There is not time for it. By the time we had got the 
transfer engrossed and signed, all would be over. Fogg 
won't let the grass grow under his feet, nor the rope rot for 
lack of usage. No ; if there were time, I might consider 
your offer ; but, as there is not, I will not Let Tony hang : 
it is his due. He ran his head into the loop." 

" Your final answer is you will not help ? " 

" To the extent of one crown, two groats, and a penny." 

" Then, Fox, I shall help myself." 



CHAPTEK LX. 

EXIT "ANTHONY CLEVERDON." 

Old Squire Cleverdon had spent the night in Lydford 
Castle. The Castle was more than half ruinous ; neverthe 
less, there were habitable rooms still in it, and one or two 
of these served as prison cells. The walls were damp, and 
the glass in the windows broken ; but it mattered not, he 



URITU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 425 

had but that uight longer for earth, and the season was 
summer. 

The Squire did not lose his gravity of deportment. He 
had held up his head before the world when things went 
well with him ; he would look the world defiantly in the 
face as all turned against him. He knew that he must die. 
He did not entertain a hope of life ; it may also be said 
that he was indifferent whether he lived or died. His only 
grievance was that the manner of his death would be ig 
nominious. It was hardly likely that the news of his capt 
ure and of Captain Fogg's threat should reach Anthony. 
Where his son was he did not know, but he supposed that 
he had taken refuge in the heart of the wilderness of moors, 
and how could he there receive tidings of what menaced 
his father ? Or, if the news did reach him, almost certainly 
it would reach him when too late to save his father. But, 
supposing he did heai', and in time, what was menaced, 
was it likely that he would give himself up for his father ? 
His life was the more valuable of the two ; it was young 
and fresh, he had a wife dependent on him, he had an 
estate his wife's to live on ; and the old man was near 
the end of his natural term of life, was friendless, he had 
cast from him his children, and was acreless, he had lost 
his patrimony. Anthony would be a fool to give himself 
up in exchange for his father. What did the Squire care 
for the scrap of life still his ? So little that he had been 
ready to throw it away ; and if the mode of passage into 
eternity was ignominious, why it was the very method he 
had chosen for himself at the sawpit. He was an aged 
ruined man, who had failed in everything, and had no place 
remaining for him on earth. He did not ask himself 
whether he had been blameworthy in his conduct to his 
children, in his behaviour to Anthony. He slept better that 
night in Lydford Castle than he had for many nights, but 
woke early, and saw the dawn break over the peaks of the 
moor to the east. He would not be brought before the 
captain and sent to execution for a few more hours. From 
his cell he had heard and been disturbed by the riot and 
revelry kept up by the captain and some boon comrades 
till late. 

The morning was well advanced when Julian Crymes rode 
to the Castle gates, followed by a couple of serving men 



426 TJR1TU: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

and laden horses. At her command the men removed the 
valises from the backs of the beasts and threw them over 
their own shoulders. The weight must have been consid 
erable, judging by the way in which the men walked under 
their burdens. 

Julian asked for admittance. She would see Captain 
Fogg. The sergeant at the gate hesitated. 

" Captain Fogg was at Kilworthy yesterday in search of 
papers my father's papers. I have found them, and bring 
them to him correspondence that is of importance." 

The sergeant ascended to the room where was the cap 
tain, and immediately came down again with orders for the 
admission of Julian. 

Followed by the men, she mounted the stone flight that 
led to the upper story, where Captain Fogg had taken up 
his quarters, and bade the servants lay their valises on the 
table and withdraw. 

Captain Fogg sat at the table with a lieutenant at his 
side ; he was engaged on certain papers, which he looked 
hastily over, as handed -to him by the lieutenant, and 
scribbled his name under them. 

Julian had time to observe the captain ; he was a man of 
middle height, with very thick light eyebrows, no teeth, a 
blotched, red face, and a nose that gave sure indication of 
his being addicted to the bottle. He wore a sandy scrubby 
moustache and beard, so light in colour as not to hide his 
coarse purple lips. When he did look up, his eyes were of 
the palest ash colour, so pale as hardly to show any colour 
beside the flaming red of his face, and they had a watery 
and languid look in them. His appearance was anything 
but inviting. 

He toolc no notice of Julian, but continued his work with 
a sort of sulky impatience to have it over. 

Not so the younger officer, who looked at Julian, and was 
struck with her beauty. He turned his eyes so often upon 
her that he forgot what he was about, and Fogg had to call 
him to order. Then Fogg condescended to observe Julian. 

"Well," said he, roughly, "what do you want? Are 
these papers ? What is your name ? " 

"I sent up my name," answered Julian. 

"Ah ! to be sure the daughter of that rebel I know 
I know. What do you want ? " 



TJRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 427 

" I have come to ask the life of Anthony Cleverdon," she 
answered. " He does not deserve death ; it was all my fault 
that he joined the Duke. He was no rebel at heart ; but I 
drove him to it. See what a man he is to come and sur 
render himself in order to save his old father from death." 

" Bah ! A rebel ! He commanded a chief rebel ! He 
shall die," answered Fogg, roughly. 

"I implore you to spare him ! Take my life, if you will. 
It was all my doing. But for me he never would have 
gone. I sent him from his home I drove him into the 
insurgent ranks. I alone I alone am guilty." 

" And who are you that you plead for him so vehement 
ly ? " asked the Captain, his watery eye resting insolently 
on her beautiful, flushed face. "Are you his wife?" 

" No no ; I am not." 

"Ah, you are his sweetheart." 

Julian's colour changed. " He does not love me. He is 
innocent, therefore I would buy his life." 

" Buy ! " echoed the Captain. 

" Yes buy it." 

" It cannot be done. It is forfeit. In a quarter of an 
hour he dies ! Look here, pretty miss : I have my orders. 
He is to die. I am a soldier : I obey orders. He dies." 

He put his hand to his cravat and drew it upwards. The 
action showed how Anthony was to die. 

"I have brought you here something worthy of your 
taking," said Julian, lowering her voice "documents of 
the highest value. Documents, letters, and lists what you 
have been looking for, and worth more than a poor lad's 
life. What is his body to you when you have driven out 
of it the soul ? A cage without a bird. Here, in these 
valises, I have something of much more substantial value." 

" Let me look," said Fogg. 

" By heaven ! " he swore, after he had leaned across the 
table and taken hold of one. " Weighty matters herein." 

Julian gave him the key, and he opened ; but not fully. 
Some suspicion of the contents seemed to have crossed his 
mind. He peered in and observed bags, tied up. 

"Ah ! " said he. " State secrets State secrets only for 
those in the confidence of the Government. Friswell ! " he 
turned to the lieutenant, "leave me alone for a few min 
utes with this good maiden. She has matters of impor- 



428 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

tance to communicate that concern many persons high up- 
high up and young ears like yours must not hear. Wait 
till you have earned the confidence of your masters." 

The lieutenant left the room. 

Then Captain Fogg signed to the soldiers at the door to 
stand without as well. 

"So matters of importance concerning the Govern 
ment," said Fogg. " In confidence, tell me all I mean 
about these valises and their contents." 

" I have come here," said Julian, " to implore you to 
save the life of Anthony Cleverdon. I am come with five 
hundred guineas, some in silver, some in gold some in 
five-guinea pieces, the rest in guineas ; they are yours free 
ly and heartily, if you will but grant me the life of your 
prisoner." 

" Five hundred guineas !" exclaimed the Captain; and 
his pale eyes watered, and his cheeks became redder. 
"Let me look." 

He thrust his hand into the saddle-bag before him on 
the table, and drew forth a canvas bag that was tied and 
sealed. He cut the string and ran out some five-guinea 
pieces on the table. A five-guinea piece was an attractive 
a beautiful coin. James L had struck thirty-shilling 
pieces, and Charles I. three-pound gold pieces, but the five- 
guinea coin had been first issued by Charles II. Noble 
milled coins, on the reverse with the shields airanged 
across, and each crowned. Captain Fogg took three in his 
hand, tossed them, rubbed one with his glove, put his 
hand into the bag and drew forth more. 

"Five hundred guineas ! " ho said. "Upon my soul, it 
is more than the cocksparrow is worth. I wish I could do 
it. By the Lord, I wish I could. Give me up that other 
bag." 

Julian moved another over the table to him. 

" Why," said he, "what do you reckon it all weighs? " 

"I cannot say for certain; one of my men thought 
about eighty pounds." 

" More, I'll be bound ; and mostly gold. Why, how 
come you by so much down here? You country gentry 
must be well off to put by so much ; and all coins of his 
late Majesty. You may have been nipped and scraped un 
der Old Noll, but under the King you have thriven. Five 



UEITIt: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 429 

hundred pounds! Where the foul fiend did you get it? 
You have not robbed the Exchequer?" 

Julian made no answer. 

The Captain continued to examine, rub, weigh, and try 
the coins ; he ranged them in rows before him, he heaped 
them in piles under his nose. 

" Upon my word, I never was more sorry in my life," he 
said. " But I can't do it. My orders are peremptory. If 
I do not hang him I shall get into trouble myself. But 111 
tell you what I'll do give him a silk sash, a soldier's sword- 
sash, and hang him in that. It's another thing altogether 
quite respectable. Will that do ? " After a pause. 

" Now look at me," said the Captain ; "it is cursed un 
pleasant and scurvy treatment we gentlemen of the sword 
meet with. I know very well that such prisoners as we de 
liver over to be dealt with by the law, supposing they be 
found guilty and sentenced to transportation or death, will 
be given the chance of buying off. Why, I've known it 
done for ten or fifteen pounds. Look at me and wonder ! 
Ten or fifteen pounds in the pocket of this one or that 
may be a Lady-in- Waiting. But here be I an honest, 
blunt, downright soldier, and five hundred guineas, and 
many of them five-guinea pieces, too, that smile in one's 
face as innocent as a child, and as inviting as a wench, and, 
by my soul ! I can't finger them. Orders are peremptory, 
I must hang him. 'Tis enough to make angels weep ? " * 

He wiped his watery eyes. 

"By the Majesty of the King, I'll do my best for you, 
saving my honour. I'll hang the old man, the father, and 
let the young one go free." 

" Sir," said Julian, " Anthony will never accept life on 
those terms." 

" Then, by my sword and spurs, I can't help you ! But 
I'll do what I can for you I will, upon my soul ! I'll make 
him dead drunk before I hang him. Will that do ? Then 
he won't feel. Not a bit. He'll go off asleep, and wake in 

* This was the case. Among those sentenced by Judge Jeffreys, 
the majority escaped with a payment. The Queen had 98 delivered 
to her order, Jerome Nimo had 101, Sir Wm. Booth 195, Sir Chris 
topher Musgrave 100, Sir Wm. Howard 205, and so on. They paid 
sums varying in amount, and got off clear. See Inderwick's "Side 
lights on the Stuarts," 1889. 



430 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

kingdom come, as easy as if he were rocked in a cradle. 
No unpleasantness at all, and I'll stand the liquor. He 
shall have what he likes. By Heaven, they're making noise 
enough outside ! Here, help to put this money into the 
valise. I will call to order." 

He set to work and pocketed as many five-guinea pieces 
as he could, then thrust the rest into the bags. 

Having assumed a grave manner, he knocked with the 
hilt of his sword on the table, and roared to the sentinel to 
open the door. 

He was at once answered. The commotion without had 
not ceased. 

"I will go in. I insist ! I must see Captain Fogg." 

" Who is without ?" asked the Captain. "Who is that 
creating such an uproar ? " 

"It is some one who desires to be admitted into your 
presence, Captain ! " said the Lieutenant. " He says he has 
been robbed ; he claims redress." 

"I can't see him I am busy State secrets? Very 

well, let him in." 

He changed his order as Fox burst into the room in spite 
of the efforts of the sergeant and sentinel to stay him. 

"Who are you? What do you here?" asked Fogg. 
" Stand back. Guard, hold his hands. Take him into cus 
tody. What is the meaning of this? " 

" I have been robbed," said Fox, his face streaming with 
sweat and red with heat. " I have had my money taken ; 
she has brought it here ; she is trying to bribe you with 
it ; she would buy off that fellow ; he deserves to be hung. 
I will denounce you if you take the money ; it is mine. 
You have come here to hang him, and hanged he shall be. 
You shall not take my money and let him escape." He 
gasped for breath ; he had been galloping, and galloping 
in a state of feverish excitement and rage. Some time after 
Julian had left him at Hall, her final remark had occurred 
to him, " Then I shall help myself," and he asked himself 
what she could mean by that, what she possibly could do. 

Suddenly he remembered his doubts about whether she 
had seen him in the pigeon-cote, and at once he was over 
whelmed with fear. He mounted his horse and rode to 
Kilworthy, to hear that his sister had left an hour before 
with servants and horses. He flew to the dove-cote and 



VRITH: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 431 

explored the pigeon-holes. Every one had been rifled. 
Sick, almost fainting with dismay, with baffled avarice and 
ambition, he remounted his horse, and rode at its fastest 
pace to Lydford. 

" You are an impudent scoundrel," said Captain Fogg ; 
"an impudent scoundrel to dare insinuate but, who are 
you, what is your name ? " 

" I am Anthony Crymes of Kilworthy," said Fox. 
" It is a lie ! " exclaimed Julian, starting forward. " Cap 
tain Fogg, take him, if you must have a victim. Take him. 
He is Anthony Cleverdon, son of the old Squire, and heir 
to Hall." 

" What is that ? what is that? Clear the room," shout 
ed Fogg.' "Stand back' you rascal! traitor! rebel! 
Sergeant, keep hold of him till you can get a pair of man 
acles or stay, take your sash, bind his hands behind his 
back, and leave the room. Friswell, you need not stay ; 
I will call you when wanted. Matters of State importance, 
secrets against the Government and his sacred Majesty the 
King, are not for ears such as yours -till tried, tried and 
proved worthy. Go." 

When the room was cleared of all save Julian and Fox, the 
Captain said, "Now, then, what is the meaning of this? " 

"I have been robbed," said Fox, trembling between ap 
prehension and rage. " My sister has taken advantage of 
having seen where I keep my money, and has carried it off 
therewith to bribe you to let off" he turned fiercely at 
Julian, his white teeth shining, his lips drawn back, and 
his eyes glittering with hate " to let off her lover." 

" You are quite mistaken," said Fogg, stroking his mous 
tache. " These saddle-bags and valises contain documents 

of importance, correspondence of the rebels " 

" They contain my money," screamed Fox " five hun 
dred pounds." 

"Five hundred guineas," said the Captain, and thrust 
his hand into his pocket, " and some of them five-guinea 
pieces ? " 

"Even so. They are mine." 

"And you are ?" 

"Anthony Cryrnes. Most people know me as Fox 
Crymes." 

" Captain Fogg," said Julian, " that is false. I do not 



432 URITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 

deny that he was once called Chymes, but he obtained a royal 
license to change his name ; he is Anthony Cleverdon." 

" Anthony Cleverdon ! " echoed Captain Fogg. " By the 
Lord, you seem to be a breed of Anthony Cleverdons down 
here ! How many more of } r ou are there ?" 

" There are three," said Julian " the father, the old 
squire ; there is his sou, an outcast, driven by his father 
from his home ; and there is the Anthony Cleverdon of 
Hall, who has assumed the name, stepped into the rights 
and place of the other, and walks in his shoes." 

"And, by Heaven! why not wear his cravat? You 
swear to this." 

" I will swear." 

" Come I must have another to confirm your word." 

"Call up the old father, if he be not already dis 
charged." 

Fox for a moment was stunned. He realized his danger. 
He had run his head into the noose prepared for Anthony, 
and that five hundred pounds had saved Anthony and sold 
him. 

The paralyzing^ effect of this discovery lasted but for a 
moment. Then lie burst forth into a torrent of explana 
tion, confused, stuttering in his rage and fear, now in a 
scream, then in a hoarse croak. 

Captain Fogg rapped on the table. 

"Gag him," ordered he, "stop his mouth. We have 
made a mistake locked up the wrong man. This is the 
veritable Anthony Cleverdon, the rebel. Stop his mouth 
instantly. He deafens me." 

Fox writhing, plunging, kicking, struggling to be free 
was quickly overmastered, his mouth gagged, his feet 
bound as well as his hands. He stood snorting, his eyes 
glaring, the sweat pouring from his brow, and his red hair 
bristling. 

In another moment old Squire Cleverdon was introduced, 
looking deadly pale. He had not been released had not 
as yet heard that his son had delivered himself up. He 
looked with indifference about him. He believed he was 
brought up to receive sentence, and he was prepared to 
receive it with dignity. 

"Old man," said the Captain, "a word with you. 
Friswell, you may stay. Sergeant, keep at the door. I 



UR1TI1: A TALE Off DARTMOOR. 433 

want a short and direct answer to a question I put to you. 
Prisoner, do you know that fellow there, with his hair on 
end and his mouth stopped ? " 

" I know him very well. I have good reason to know 
him," answered the Squire. 

" What is his name ? " 

"His name is the same as mine Anthony Cleverdon." 

' And his place of residence ? " 

' Hall." 

' Is he your son ? " 

' He is my son-in-law ; he " 

' Enough. He is your son ? " 

' Yes ; that is to say " 

' Exactly," interrupted Captain Fogg. "I want to hear 
no more ; the lady says the same. Say it again. This is 
your assert 

"Anthony Cleverdon, the younger, of Hall," said Julian. 

' Sergeant," said Fogg, " is the beam run out?" 

'Yes, your honour?" 

' And the rope ready ? " 

' It is, your honour." 

' Then take this prisoner Anthony Cleverdon the 
younger and hang him forthwith. The two other pris 
oners are discharged. They were apprehended, or gave 
themselves up, by mistake. That is the true Anthony 
Cleverdon. Hang him at once. He who steps- into 
another man's shoes may wear as well his cravat." 



CHAPTER LXI. 

EXEUNT OMNES. 

Anthony was in his cell. He expected every moment to 
be called forth, and to hear his doom. He was perfectly 
calm, and thought only of Urith. He had the half-token 
about his neck, and he kissed it. Urith had given it to 
him : it was a pledge to him that she would ever be heart- 
aching for him, living in the love and thought of him. 
Time passed without his noticing it. 

Steps approached his cell, and he rose from his seat, 
ready to follow the soldier who would lead him forth to 
death. But, to his astonishment, in the door appeared 



434 URITH: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

Julian, with the lieutenant. Anthony's face darkened, and 
he stepped back. Why should this girl this girl who had 
poisoued his life come to torment and disturb him at the 
last hour ? 

Perhaps she read his thoughts in his face by the pale ray 
of light that entered from the window ; and, with a voice 
trembling with emotion, she said, "Anthony, you are 
free ! " 

He did not stir, but looked questiouingly at her. She 
also was pale, deadly pale, and her whole frame was quiv 
ering. 

"It is true," said Friswell. "You are free to depart, 
you and the old man ; both are discharged. There haa 
been a mistake." 

"I do not understand. There can have been no mis 
take," said Anthony. 

" Come, quick ; follow me," said Julian. Then, in a low 
tone, turning to the lieutenant, she said, " Suffer me one 
moment to speak to him alone." . 

" You may speak to him as much as you will," said the 
young man. " I only wish I were iu his place." 

"Anthony," said she, "say not another word to anyone 
here. I have delivered you." 

" You, Julian ! But how ? " 

"I have bought your life, with gold and " 

"And with what?" 

" With but I will tell you outside, not here. Come, 

your father awaits you." 

" I thank you for what you have done for me, Julian. 
If I have wronged you in any way hitherto, I ask your for 
giveness. Indeed, we have been in the wrong on all sides 
none pure, none save Bessie." 

"None, save Bessie," repeated Julian. 

" Coine with me," she added, after a silence ; and he 
obeyed. 

Near the castle stands the weather-beaten church of St. 
Petrock, with its granite-pinnacled tower. Outside this 
church, on a tombstone, sat the old Squire. He first had 
been released, not at all comprehending how he had escaped 
death ; not allowed to ask questions, huddled out of the castle, 
and sent forth into the street, bewildered and in doubt. 

Now, with wide-opened eyes, he stared at Julian and his 



URIT3: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 435 

son as they came to him, as though he saw spirits from the 
dead. 

"He is free, he is restored to you! " said Julian. The 
old man tried to rise, but sank back on the stone, extended 
his arms, and in a moment was locked in those of his son. 

He could not understand what had taken place. He 
knew only that both he and Anthony were free, and in no 
further danger, but how that had come about, and how it 
was that Fox was in bonds, he could not make out. The 
reaction after the strain on his nerves set in. Great tears 
rolled out of his eyes, and he sobbed like a child on the 
breast of Anthony. 

Then Julian told him how that his son had come and had 
surrendered himself to save his father. The old man lis 
tened, arid as he listened, his pride, his hardness gave way. 
He put his hand into that of his son and pressed it. He 
could not speak, his heart was overfull. 

But how had Anthony escaped ? That he could not un 
derstand. 

Then Julian told how that she had discovered that Fox 
had a hidden store of gold in the pigeon-cote at Kil worthy. 
She was convinced that this was the money that her father 
had lost, the money he was conveying to Monmouth at 
Taimton. Fox must have robbed the coach, robbed his 
own father, secreted the bags near the place where he had 
stolen them, and conveyed them by night, one by one, to 
the pigeon house at Kil worthy, where he had supposed they 
were safe, as the cote was deserted and no one ever entered 
it, least of all ascended a ladder to explore the pigeon 
holes. She, by accident, had observed him, but had not 
allowed him to suppose that he had been seen. 

When Anthony gave himself up, then Julian had en 
treated Fox to use this money to obtain the freedom of his 
friend and brother-in-law. As he had refused to do so, 
Julian had gone home, and taken the gold, brought it to 
Lydford, and with it had purchased Anthony's freedom. 

As they spoke, the sexton passed them, rattling the keys 
of the church. He took no notice of them, nor they of 
him. They, indeed, were immersed in their own concerns. 

"But," said Anthony, "you said something more to me. 
You had sacrificed something for me besides the gold. 
What was it ?" 



436 URITIl: A TALE OP DARTMOOR. 

" A life," answered Julian, in a low tone. 

Hark ! as she said the word, the bell of the church began 
to toll. 

"There is some one dying," said the old man, rising 
from the gravestone. " Let us pray for him as he passes." 

Thei'e was a noise of voices in the street, exclamations, 
heard between the deep deafening notes of the bell. 

Presently the old man said. " What did you say, Julian ! 
A life whose life V " 

She did not answer. He looked round. She was gone. 

" And what did the Captain mean," he added, " when he 
said he who has stepped into another man's shoes must 
wear his cravat ? " 

As he looked about, searching for Julian he saw his 
question answered ; understood why the bell tolled, why 
the whole of the population of the little place was in the 
street, talking, gesticulating, crying out, and looking at the 
topmost window of the Castle. 

He who had stepped into Anthony's shoes, assumed his 
name, occupied his place, was wearing the cravat intended 
for his neck. 

But where was Julian ? 

That was a question asked often, repeatedly, urgently, 
and it was a question that was never answered. 

A shepherd boy declared that he had seen her going over 
the moor in the direction of Tavy Cleave. Search was 
made for her in every direction, but in vain. 

"When the writer was a boy, he was with a party at a pic 
nic at Tavy Cleave, and was bidden descend the precipitous 
flank to the river to bring up water in an iron kettle. He 
went down jumping, sliding, scrambling, and suddenly 
slid through a branch of whortleberry plants between some 
masses of rock that had fallen together, wedging each other 
up, and found himself in a pit under these rocks. To his 
surprise he there found a number of bones. His first im 
pression was that a sheep had fallen from the rocks into 
this place, and had there died, but a little further examina 
tion convinced him that the remains were not those of a 
slit ( p at all. Among the remains, where were the little 
bones of the hand, was a ring. The ring was of gold and 
delicately wrought. It probably at one time contained 
hair, but this had disappeared, and the socket was empty, 



UEITII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR. 437 

within the hoop was engraved " Ulalia Crymes, d. April 6, 
1665." It was clearly a mourning ring. Now Ulalia 
Glanville was the last of that family, the heiress who married 
Ferdinando Crymes, and the day of her burial was April 
10th, therefore, probably she died about April 6th, in that 
very year, 1665. And this was the mother of Julian. Can 
this have been the ring commemorative of her mother worn 
by Julian Crymes, and does this fact identify the bones as 
the remains of that unhappy girl ? If so she must have 
either slipped r precipitated herself from the rocks over 
head, and fallen between these masses of stone, where her 
crushed body escaped the observation of all searchers, and 
of accidental passers-by. 

As already said in an earlier chapter, the parish church 
of Peter Tavy has gone through that process which is 
facetiously termed " restoration," on the principle of the 
derivation of Lucus a non lucendo ; restoration meaning, 
in ninety-nine out of a hundred cases the utter destruction 
of every element of interest and loveliness in an ancient 
church. Among the objects on which one of those West 
of England wreckers, the architects, exhibit their destruc 
tive energies are the tombstones. 

Now, in Peter Tavy Church, previous to its restoration, 
there were in the interest of my story two tombstones, 
fortunately transcribed before the wrecker began his work. 

Here is one, cut on a slate slab let into the floor : 

"To THE MEMORY OF 
ANTHONY CLEVERDON, GENT., 
[Then a pair of clasped right hands] 

AND TJRITH, HIS WIFE, 

DAUGHTER AND HEIRESS OF 

RICHARD MALVINE, OF WILLSWORTHY, GENT." 



Under this stone the corps of them abide 
What lived and tenderly did love, and dyed. 
Wedlock and Death had with the Grave agreed 
To make for them an everlasting marriage bed, 
Where in repose their mixed dust might lye. 
Their souls be gone up hand in hand on high. 



438 UR1TII: A TALE OF DARTMOOR, 

Curiously enough, there was no date to this tomb. 

It would appear that for a hundred years the descendants 
of Anthony and Urith remained at Willsworthy, and then 
the family became extinct. It would also appear that Hall 
passed completely out of the family of Cleverdon, the old 
Anthony Cleverdon, on his death, being entered in the 
register as "Anthony Cleverdon the Elder, once of Hall, 
but now of Willsworthy, Gentleman ; " and the date of his 
burial was 1689, so that he just survived the accession of 
the Prince of Orange. 

It cannot be doubted that the few remaining years of his 
life saw him an altered man, and that he had discovered 
that with the loss of Hall he had gained something, as Luke 
had said, far more precious the love of his children, and 
the knowledge how precious it was. 

In the floor of the chancel, below the Communion-rails, 
was another Cleverdon monument, but not one of a Clev 
erdon of Willsworthy, but of a rector of Peter Tavy. His 
Christian name was Luke. We may therefore conclude 
that Luke from being curate became incumbent of the 
church and parish he had served so faithfully. Beneath 
his name stood a second. The inscription ran thus : 
"Also of Elizabeth, his true helpmeet, daughter of Anthony 
Cleverdon, formerly of Hall." There was no mention on it 
of the marriage with Fox. Below stood the text from 
Proverbs : 

" Who can find a virtuous woman ? for her price is far 
above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust 
in her. She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of 
her life." 



THE END 



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17. UbC Tiding Of H^rael - - BY MONA CAIRO 

Those who have read Mrs. Caird's article on marriage in the 
Nineteenth Century, already know something of her vigorous 
English, and will not be disappointed in the pages of her novel. 
They are imbued with the same power, intensity and earnestness, ' 
but are richer and more symetrical, as the occasion demands, in the 
development of the human character and motives concerned. Ex. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 



18. tlbe jfog jgrince0 . BY FLORENCE WARDEN 

The clever, versatile and industrious authoress of " The House 
on the Marsh " has in " The Fog Princess " constructed another 
interesting story of gentlemanly villainy. Such novels as " The 
Fog Princess " may be interesting, even exciting. Brooklyn Union. 

" Miss Warden's power is in her plots and in the art of telling 
a story as if it were really true, or, which in a novel is the same 
thing, as if she believed it to be true." Metropolis. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 



10. 3obn f>erdn0 BY S. BARING-GOULD 

Mr. S. Baring-Gould's stories are always dramatically told and 
artistically constructed. They have about them much rugged 
strength and vigor, and all the figures on the canvas are surcharged 
with individuality, move freely and naturally, and seem to be real 
flesh and blood characters. In John Herring the plot cannot well 
be summarized, but its pictures of English country life and manners 
and its broad types of humanity make up a fascinating story, one 
which follows no much-worn or well-trodden path, but strikes out 
into a region entirely new and strange in fiction. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 50 CENTS. 



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20. tTbe jfatal pbrgUC BY F. C. PHILIPS, author of "As in a 

Looking Glass," AND MRS. C. J. WILLS. 

The principal character in the story is Dr. Thologan, an old 
Frenchman and a distinguished physician, who marries his ward, a 
beautiful girl, and then is consumed with an inordinate jealousy of 
his friend, George Leigh, a young artist. The story is gloomy, but 
there is excellent characterization in it, and the central idea is 
worked out with much cleverness. Philadelphia Record. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 

21. "fcarvest BY JOHN STRANGE WINTER 

Is an English story, with the daughter of a surgeon in the Indian 
army as its heroine. After the death of her father, Rachel Power 
alone, with little money, returns to England ; is repulsed by her 
rich grandfather, to whom her father had intrusted her, and finds 
herself alone in London. Her true womanliness and her knowledge 
of art are her protection against temptation; and she makes a 
name and place for herself in the great world. She is a strong, 
pure, beautiful character, thrown into relief by the weakness and 
meanness of the men about her. Ex. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 

22. JRebalab BY s - BARING-GOULD 

This wild, weird story of the salt marshes will bear more than 
one reading. The barren, desolate scenery of the saltings form a 
fitting background for the story of Mehalah, the dauntless girl 
whose gipsy blood had brought her so fierce a will, and her 
desperate lover, half savage, half prophet, who is bad enough and 
bold enough to use any means to bring the girl to himself. There 
is in the story a suggestion of the power of the eld Greek tragedies. 
Chronicle. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 50 CENTS. 

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27. Ebe penngcomequlchg - - Bv S. BARING-GOULD 

It is a stong, well-written story of English life and character 
marked by the well-known ability of its author, and compares favor 
ably with any other of his novels. The writer has gained a consider 
able reputation as a novelist and it is well deserved. Chronicle. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 50 CENTS. 



28. Sejebel'g yrien&g BY DORA RUSSELL 

Dora Russell, author of " The Broken Seal," is also the author 
of a novel called " Jezebel's Friends," which is replete with sensa 
tional incidents and cannot fail to please the lovers of this class 
of fiction. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 

29. Comeftg Of a Countrg t)OU0e BY JULIAN STURGIS 

Is an extremely clever and readable novel. There is enough of plot 
in it to arouse the interest of the reader, but the chief merit of the 
book is in its ease of style and freshness and vivacity. The characters 
are well drawn and possess no small degree of originality which is 
something not common in the fiction of the time. The book may 
be commended to lovers of fiction as a clean, breezy, spirited and 
interesting novel. San Francisco Chronicle. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 



30. {The plcca&illg pU33le. A MYSTERIOUS STORY. 

BY FERGUS W. HUME 

This book is readable enough, but there is nothing mysterious 
about the puzzle if you have read Hume's previous works and 
understand his system. He begins with a crime and tries to puzzle 
you about the criminal ; now select the character who is not sus 
pected by anyone and you have the right man or woman. \Ve 
advise readers to buy this book for the cars, the seaside or the 
Summer Hotel. The Metropolis. 

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43, aSuttOng - BY JOHN STRANGE WINTER 

" Buttons " is a delicious little story by John Strange Winter, 
in which a military man of high rank falls in love with a governess, 
and is not permitted to marry her. Then he lowers himself to the 
rank of private so that he may consummate his love. The story is 
sweet and well worth reading. Toledo Journal. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 

44, TRurge IReveFg JJMstafte BY FLORENCE WARDEN 

If Florence Warden's " Nurse Revel's Mistake " cannot be 
classed among her best novels, it is nevertheless a clever work, 
which might bring reputation to a less successful author. N. Y. 
Sun. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 

45, Brminell BY S. BARING-GOULD 

This is a very pleasing story with just enough plot as not to 
appear overstrained. Its easy dialogues and sparkling incidents 
will abundantly repay its readers. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 50 CENTS. 



46, ^IbC Xament Of 5M\?eg BY WALTER BESANT 

Whatever Besant writes is worth reading. Besant has fallen 
in with the prevailing interest in occult matters, and gives a tince 
of the supernatural or of what people call the supernatural, to his 
story in the exchange of souls made by the two principal characters. 
Tacoma Times. 

There are many morals in this pretty story which we shall 
leave the reader the pleasure of discovering for himself. Metropo 
lis,N. Y. 

CLOTH, $1.00. PAPER COVER, 30 CENTS. 



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WORKS OF 

RUDYARD KIPLING. 

plain gales from tbe "fcillg 

PAPER, 50 CENTS. CLOTH, $I.OO. 

SoISierg gbree anft otber Storteg 

PAPER, 50 CENTS. CLOTH, $1. do. 

pbantom '"Rtcftgbaw anS otber 



PAPER, 50 CENTS. CLOTH, fl.OO. 

Storg of tbe (3a&6bgg 

PAPER, 25 CENTS. 

ffnfrlan Caleg 

ONE VOLUME, I2MO., CLOTH, GILT TOP, 771 PAGES. PRICE, $1.50. 

This is the only edition of " Plain Tales from the Hills," " Soldiers 
Three and other stories," "The Story of the Gadsbys," "Phantom 
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Departmental SMttleg, JBarracft TRoom JBallafrg an> otber 
Derseg 

ONE VOLUME, I2MO., CLOTH, GILT, $1.25. 

We have just issued under the authorization of Rudyard Kipling, a 
volume of poems, which contains "Depaitmental Ditties," "Barrack 
Room Ballads," and a collection of Kipling's fugitive verses, which he 
has recently arranged for this volume. 1 his is the first edition of Kip 
ling's poetical writings issued in this country. The press universally praise 
his poetical work, the style of which is crisp, terse, witty and entertaining. 

IN PRESS BY THE SAME AUTHOR. 

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EXTRACTS FROM THE PRESS. 

" The masterly force and grasp of the author are plainly evident." 
N. O. States, 

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Chicago Herald. 

" His story is always original, often startling, sometimes tragic to a 
degree." Christian Union. 

* * * Whose stories are told with an amiable egotism, infectious 
humor, and in a picturesque dialect that will send his name ringing down 
to posterity. Lovisville Courier Journal. 

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